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MAS bans 2 former brokerage employees, insurance agent for dishonest conduct

THE Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has slapped prohibition orders on three individuals, who worked separately for Jefferies Singapore and Legacy, for dishonest conduct.

Jeremy Lee Seow Poh, the former managing director and head of sales for the fixed income desk at Jefferies Singapore, was slapped with a four-year ban for not disclosing his trades in bonds from May 2011 to December 2012.

Mr Lee had traded in bonds using his private banking account which was not disclosed to Jefferies Singapore, MAS said.

Ong Eng Keong, former senior vice-president of credit trading in the same company, has also been banned for two years.

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According to MAS, Mr Lee had colluded with Mr Ong to trade against Jefferies Singapore using privileged information obtained in their course of work on Jefferies Singapore's fixed income desk. Mr Lee also shared the trading profit with Mr Ong.

Both men were prohibited from trading in bonds during their employment with Jefferies Singapore without the company's knowledge and approval as this would conflict with the company's trading activities as well as its clients.

MAS said that Jefferies Singapore would not have entered these trades if it was aware of Mr Lee being the counterparty, due to possible conflict of interests between Mr Lee, Mr Ong, the firm and its clients.

Meanwhile, former representative of Legacy Yap Chee Hoe has been banned for two years after forging the signatures of five individuals in their insurance application forms to expedite their purchases of insurance policies between May and July 2017.

According to MAS, Mr Yap also provided false information about one of the individual's health and employment status in one of the said applications. The individuals impacted did not suffer any losses as the applications were either withdrawn by them or cancelled by Legacy after the misconduct was discovered.

Mr Lee, Mr Ong and Mr Yap are all banned from providing any financial advisory service under the Financial Advisors Act (FAA). 

Mr Lee and Mr Ong are also not allowed to take part in the management, acting as a director or becoming a substantial shareholder of any capital market services firm under the Securities and Futures Act (SFA) and FAA, while Mr Yap is prohibited from carrying on business as, and taking part in the management of an insurance intermediary under the Insurance Act (IA). (see amendment note)

Amendment note: The headline in the previous version of this story incorrectly stated Mr Lee and Mr Ong both as traders of the company, when in fact Mr Ong was not a trader but the head of sales at Jefferies Singapore. It also incorrectly stated that Mr Yap was banned from performing regulated activity under the SFA, when in fact his prohibition orders were issued under the IA and the FAA. The article has been revised to reflect this.