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MAS prohibition orders against ex-Credit Suisse banker and ex-CEO of NRA Capital varied on appeal to minister

TWO former finance professionals have had the terms of Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) prohibition orders against them varied upon appeal to the minister in charge of the central bank.

Former Credit Suisse banker Lim Fang Wee - who was barred on April 30, 2018 from carrying out activities regulated under the Securities and Futures Act (SFA) and financial advisory services under the Financial Advisers Act (FAA) - has had his four-year ban reduced to three years.

He  also cannot be a management team member, director or substantial shareholder of any capital market services firm or financial advisory firm under the two acts.

Meanwhile, Kevin Scully, the former chief executive of financial advisory firm NRA Capital, has now been allowed to stay on as a substantial shareholder of the FAA-licensed firm.

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But he must submit an undertaking to the MAS - and inform the directors and management of NRA - that he will not exercise any rights over the shares he owns in a way that lets him influence the management and operations of NRA, beyond collecting dividends.

His prohibition order - which keeps him from offering financial advisory services under the FAA and serving as a management staff member or director in a licensed financial advisory firm - otherwise remains in force for three years from Dec 18, 2017.

Mr Lim was given a prohibition order for deliberately hiding the identity of the true beneficial owner of three accounts with his former employer, while Mr Scully was found to have failed to ensure that NRA carried out its valuation service with the care, judgment and objectivity required.

People who have been slapped with prohibition orders by the MAS can appeal to the minister in charge - in this case, Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam.

A three-person Appeal Advisory Committee (AAC) then holds a hearing and submits a written report to the minister, which he takes into account when making his final decision.

The MAS said in a media statement that it "will continue to take strong and proportionate enforcement action to detect, investigate and deter wrongdoing, so as to maintain public confidence and protect the integrity of the financial industry in Singapore".