27/05/2016 - 11:56

Asic bans former HSBC financial planner

27/05/2016 - 11:56

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The corporate watchdog has permanently banned former Perth-based financial planner Simson Kwok from the industry for intentionally mishandling more than $4 million of clients’ funds while working for HSBC.

The corporate watchdog has permanently banned former Perth-based financial planner Simson Kwok from the industry for intentionally mishandling more than $4 million of clients’ funds while working for HSBC.

Mr Kwok, who is the 51st individual to be banned by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission from providing financial services since July last year, was employed as a financial planner by HSBC between 2009 and 2013.

Asic said today that, during his final year at HSBC, Mr Kwok deceived four clients into investing a combined $1.97 million into what they believed was an HSBC-approved product.

He also misled a further two clients into investing a total of $2.3 million into what they believed was an HSBC-approved annuity investment.

Mr Kwok was also found to have forged documents and signatures to disguise the fact that the client money had not been invested into these products.

Instead, the funds were sent to a Singaporean company called Lionbridge Group, which was run by Mr Kwok’s friend Nicholas Zheng.

Asic became aware of the misconduct after Mr Kwok was turned in by HSBC.

Asic commissioner John Price said in permanently banning Mr Kwok, the watchdog found reason to believe that he was not of good fame or character.

“Asic will act to remove those financial advisers from the industry who engage in dishonest conduct,” Mr Price said.

HSBC has since undertaken court action and has remediated affected clients in full.

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