Ex-Hang Seng officer lost clients' money

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 26 February, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 26 February, 2011, 12:00am

A Hang Seng Bank employee who misappropriated more than HK$14 million of customers' money incurred investment losses of HK$5 million, the District Court heard yesterday.

Alex Chow Ho-kuen, 34, a former senior customer officer, pleaded guilty to 15 charges of fraud, theft and money laundering.

Chow admitted using most of the money to invest in structured financial products without the customers' permission between 2007 and 2009. He produced false documents at the bank to show he had obtained clients' consent for the investments.

The case came to light after one of the victims discovered money was missing from his account. The bank had compensated all the victims' losses, the court was told.

Defence lawyer Raymond Yu said Chow misappropriated the money because of pressure to meet the bank's sales targets. His client was willing to repay about HK$1 million to the bank, the court heard.

Chow oversaw 800 bank accounts before he was dismissed in February last year. A medical report showed he suffered from adjustment disorder.

Judge Joseph Yau Chi-lap adjourned sentencing to March 11, pending a background report.