Hong Kong SFC fines Nomura HK$4.5 million for failure to report trader misconduct

Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) today reprimanded and fined Nomura International (Hong Kong) Limited (Nomura Hong Kong) HK$4.5 million (US$ 580,000) over a failure to report misconduct by a former trader in a timely manner.

The SFC found that the bank had been aware of the trader’s misconduct for more than a month before submitting the relevant reports with the regulator.

Below you can see more details of what happened:

On 11 June 2013, Nomura Hong Kong informed the SFC that Mr X, a trader on secondment from Nomura Securities Co., Ltd in Japan (Nomura Japan), had incurred a US$3.3 million trading loss on 23 May 2013 and that he had been sent back to Japan on June 5, 2013.

logo_headHowever, the SFC subsequently found out that at the time of the 11 June Report, Nomura Hong Kong was already aware of Mr X’s misconduct, as he had admitted to making false entries in Nomura Hong Kong’s risk management system to conceal the real risk exposure of his trades and to providing false information to Nomura Hong Kong.

None of these matters were disclosed to the SFC immediately when they should have been under the Code of Conduct.

The SFC also found out that by the time Mr X left Hong Kong following the termination of his secondment with Nomura Hong Kong, Nomura Hong Kong had already noticed some apparent discrepancies between his actual trading activities and the information he had provided to management. Mr X was sent back to Nomura Japan before the SFC had been properly alerted and before Nomura Hong Kong had completed its internal investigation into his conduct.

The SFC further found that by 19 June 2013, Nomura Hong Kong had already prepared a draft preliminary report of its investigation on Mr X’s trading activities, but it did not provide the report or its subsequent drafts to the SFC until the SFC made further enquiries.

It was not until 17 July 2013 that Nomura Hong Kong informed the SFC for the first time that Mr X had engaged in inappropriate conduct.

Mr Mark Steward, the SFC’s Executive Director of Enforcement, said:

“Nomura left out highly relevant information from its first report to the SFC and then had to be chased to report properly. There can be no excuses for such delays in reporting matters requiring our immediate attention. Delays, like these, contribute to misconduct and prejudice investigations. Intermediaries must report problems to us immediately – not after internal investigation, not after legal advice has been obtained but straightaway, without leaving out any important information.”

To view the official press release by Hong Kong’s SFC, click here.

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