Wing Hang Bank

Wing Hang Bank manager convicted of stealing data on thousands of customers

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 01 October, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 01 October, 2013, 3:43am

A Wing Hang Bank manager was yesterday found guilty of stealing the personal information of more than 10,000 clients, including borrowing histories, from the bank's computer database.

Ng Chau-ha, 33, a former risk control department manager, was convicted in Eastern Court of obtaining access to a computer with a view to dishonest gain for herself or another.

The court heard she had used a colleague's identity to log into the bank's computer system and downloaded the data into a bank computer drive she had access to. She then sent the data out in 751 e-mails and downloaded it onto her personal laptop computer.

The crime began just six days after she joined the bank in July last year and went on until that October.

The customer information included names, identity card numbers, loan and repayment histories and assessments by the bank of its clients.

The court heard the information had not been leaked and that the bank had suffered no loss.

The bank discovered the crime when its information technology department was alerted by Ng's unusually high internet data usage and alerted police.

In sentencing, Magistrate Eric Cheung Kwan-ming dismissed Ng's explanation that she downloaded the data so that she could work at home and improve herself after her supervisor complained about her performance.

Cheung said that Ng had acted dishonestly, pointing out that she had logged into her colleague's account only after he had left the office and that she did not tell him about it afterwards.

The magistrate asked: "If the defendant's genuine purpose was to enable her to work at home, why didn't she take a look at the content of the files instead of downloading the data blindly onto the shared drive?"

The magistrate adjourned sentencing to October 21, pending a community service report on Ng, who was released on bail.