Legal

EFG Faces $2.3 Million Fine For Unauthorised Transactions

Vanessa Doctor, Asia Correspondent, 14 June 2011

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EFG International has been ordered by the Singapore court to pay a $2.3 million fine for some bad decisions made over a client's account, Bloomberg writes.

According to the report, the Swiss bank is to pay client Jiang Ou after high-risk trades made in her account led to a loss of $2.3 million. At the time, her account was handled by former EFG employee Ng Ton Yee. EFG Singapore did not return calls for comment.

In its defence, EFG reportedly argued that Jiang had known of the trades and even received the transaction statements for all the trades done in her name. Jiang said she didn't get all the documentation and that 160 unauthorised transactions had been made. 

"It is plainly unreasonable that a bank should be able to shift the risk of unauthorised transactions by a fraudulent employee to an innocent customer," Judge Steven Chong was quoted as saying.

The issue arises at a time reports of fraudulent acts by advisors of private banks are increasingly publicised in Asia - the most controversial one to date being the Citibank Indonesia scandal. This resulted in the private bank's one-year suspension from recruiting wealthy clients. 

The EFG case is still in the Singapore High Court.

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