SFC bans former UBS director for life

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As a manager of investment portfolios for clients in Hong Kong, he was convicted of accepting illegal commission payments.

The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has banned Tu Bing, a former associate director at UBS in Hong Kong, from re-entering the industry for life following his conviction for bribery, according to a statement from the regulator.

Tu is no longer registered with the SFC or the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), the regulator noted.

Hong Kong’s district court found Tu, who was managing investment portfolios of clients, guilty of soliciting and accepting illegal commission payments of HK$1.4m ($178,632) from a client for profits generated from the client’s trades in Hong Kong stocks. At the time, he was sentenced to imprisonment for three and a half years.

“The SFC considers that Tu is not a fit and proper person to be licensed or registered to carry on regulated activities as a result of his criminal conviction,” the regulator said.

The case dates back in June 2007, when Tu asked a Shenzhen-based client to pay 20% of the profits he earned as “handling and intelligence fees”, which he claimed as standard practice, according to court documents.

However, Tu was aware that UBS does not allow employees to claim or accept benefits from clients, the documents noted.

The client issued blank cheques to pay for the claimed commissions, which were deposited in Tu’s younger brother’s HSBC bank account. Later in 2007, two sums of money – HK$1m and $400,000, were transferred to Tu’s HSBC bank account from his brother’s.

Tu, who joined UBS in 2006, left UBS in 2008, the court documents added. In 2014, the client filed a complaint about Tu to the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA). Following the complaint, Hong Kong’s Independent Commission Against Corruption filed charges against Tu, with UBS cooperating in the case, according to a separate statement from the commission.

“The probity of [Hong Kong’s] financial institutions and those who work in them is of great importance not only within Hong Kong itself but also internationally,” the presiding judge said in the court documents, quoting the SAR’s bribery and corruption law. “Secret commissions strike at the root of that necessary probity.”

The case has damaged not only Tu’s career but also impacted his family.

Tu, who is in his mid-40s, is married and has two children. Since the case started in 2014, Tu has been unemployed and cannot find other work as his skills only revolve around finance, Tu’s lawyer said in the court documents. By the time of Tu’s conviction in 2017, he had lost around RMB 4m ($567,880) in income.

The family has since only relied on his wife to work part-time in insurance sales, with a monthly income of around RMB 10,000 ($1,419). In addition to the two children, Tu is supporting his parents, who also live in mainland China.

“The future and family of the accused have been destroyed,” Tu’s lawyer said.

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