SINGAPORE - Two former foreign exchange (forex) traders who used the names of family members to set up trading accounts, which were then used to cheat their respective banks with bogus trades, were on Wednesday (Feb 22) sentenced to jail .
Former HSBC senior dealer Ivan Chng Kian Wee, 48, was jailed 15 weeks while former Deutsche Bank spot trader Toh Hway Khuan, 51, was jailed eight weeks.
Prosecutors had sought six months for Chng and three months for Toh while their lawyers had asked for a fine.
Justice See Kee Oon said that deterrent sentences were justified but noted that there was no erosion of confidence in the two banks and that the offences of the two men had no discernible impact on the market.
In January, they had pleaded guilty to using their respective banks' accounts to get favourable rates on the US dollar on their own personal trades.
Both cases are unrelated. The trades involved took place in November 2009.
Chng had bought and sold US$778 million, making about S$230,000 in wrongful gains. Toh carried out trades amounting to US$257 million and made about S$140,000 in wrongful gains.
In the case of Chng, he had opened a trading account with now-defunct brokerage MF Global in June 2006 using the name of his wife.
He would place his personal orders using this account, instructing his broker on the exchange rate and quantity of currency he wanted to buy or sell. He would always give a rate that was more favourable than the prevailing market rates.
After the order was accepted, Chng would use HSBC's proprietary account - used to trade on behalf of the bank and its customers - to enter an opposite order at a similar rate and quantity to match his personal order.
Toh used a similar modus operandi, using an account he set up with MF Global in November 2006 in the names of his brother and sister-in-law.
By using their banks' accounts to carry out matching trades for their own benefit, the two men admitted they had engaged in acts of deception on their respective employers.