THE Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) wants clients of Canwell Forex International, a leveraged foreign exchange dealer suspected of cooking its books, to meet today so it can brief them on the company's plight. The meeting will be held in Canwell's office in Tai Po to explain options available for the company, the SFC said. All clients' open positions were closed on Thursday, and an estimated $2 million was due to clients, while Canwell's main asset appeared to be a $32 million bank deposit, the SFC said. On October 16, the commission clamped down on the assets of Canwell and last week Price Waterhouse partner Stephen Caswell was appointed administrator. The SFC said Mr Caswell had reported that Canwell directors had told him on Tuesday of $8 million in previously undisclosed loans and liabilities. 'Documents in the SFC's possession also suggest that short-term 'loans' have been made to Canwell on a number of occasions in the past,' the SFC said. The loans tended to coincide with those times Canwell had to submit financial reports to the SFC, or with an SFC inspection of Canwell, and reverted immediately to the third party. This 'suggests that the loans were intended to mislead the SFC when Canwell was called upon by the SFC to show that it met the minimum capital and liquid assets requirements,' the commission said. 'The existence of substantial previously undisclosed loans and liabilities, if substantiated, would appear to confirm the SFC's suspicions that the company had been keeping two sets of books and records,' said commission deputy chairman Michael Wu. 'It also raises serious questions regarding the true financial position of Canwell. It is thus not clear at this stage whether Canwell's clients will be able to get their money back and, if so, how much.' It was unclear if the $32 million bank deposit was available to repay clients, because there might be a charge over it, and the SFC had to determine if the previously undisclosed loans and liabilities could be substantiated. 'Only when these are determined can we say whether clients will get their money back - when and how much,' Mr Wu said. He said the SFC was taking advice on the exact legal status of the $32 million and 'the effect of the purported charge on the sum'. 'Any decision as regards the fate of the company will have to wait until this is ironed out,' Mr Wu said. Under action already taken by the commission, Canwell must obtain the SFC's written permission before it can withdraw more than $5,000 a day from its bank accounts in Hong Kong or elsewhere. It is believed to be the first time the SFC has acted to restrict the access of a licensed leveraged foreign exchange trader to its assets. The meeting will be held at Canwell's office at Tai Po Plaza, Level One, Shop 14, it said. Earlier this month, the SFC called on five unlicensed trader applicants to comply with new rules after complaints they were adopting lower margin requirements to lure business from licensed leveraged foreign exchange dealers.