ONE of the things that happened when the Securities and Futures Commission took charge of regulating the leveraged forex business was compulsory reporting of financial situations. The first annual accounts make interesting reading. Bright Capital Investment raised the $30 million equity necessary for regulatory approval and gradually complied with other burdens. It took until the end of the financial year before the client segregated accounts were placed into properly constituted trust accounts but the auditors say the accounts were fully separate before this. The firm was also in breach of capital adequacy provisions between February and April this year, but it kept the right records and generally played the game. The strict rules on margin sizes seems to have hit home and SFC warnings that customers were drifting off-shore to Macau where margins are lower and leverage higher seem to be borne out. The firm lost $4.58 million in the year on turnover of $1.22 million. The turnover mainly came from bank interest of $1.36 million while clients paid interest of $3,253. There was no commission or fees generated by forex trading compared with $10,440 last year and the firm lost $142,674 on the markets itself. The directors (and there was an almost total change of board on May 18), collected $672,050 in emoluments while the payroll and other allowances were $867,535. Commission paid was a mere $2,650. Looks like life is tough in the world of the licensed forex. Maybe all those companies which unaccountably decided to withdraw their applications should be heaving a sigh of relief. Tuned in NEIL Montefiore of Island Road was sent today's card by NatWest Bank's personal banking centre in Middlesborough. The painting entitled The Feel-Good Factor is captioned 'We're on the way!' and Mr Montefiore rather wonders if all the fresh air on Teeside hasn't gone to a few heads at NatWest. We get a slightly different message from the card than the one intended - all the shop windows are boarded up and the gnomes are desperately waving to Santa and crying: 'Don't leave us behind.' J.P. Morgan is sending out an interesting card. Lovely as all the people at the blue-chip United States investment bank are, one wouldn't necessarily snap its name back if someone said Santa Claus in a word-association session. There is a link between the two, and not just because they can both give you the occasional surprise. The author of Christmas favourite Jingle Bells was James Pierpont who was the uncle of bank founder Junius Pierpont Morgan, according to one of the several designs that J.P. Morgan bankers are sending to friends and clients. Khan can HAPPY Christmas Mr Yaqub Khan. Y.M. Khan, crusader and loving abuser of Christopher Patten, spends his year sending thousands of faxes to the Governor, the Hong Kong Minister in London, numerous policemen and ex-policemen and generally anyone who'll listen. Recently he tried to send a request to Saddam Hussein of Iraq for some help fighting his long running legal battle with the Government over the premature termination of his police career. The Post Office had some trouble with this piece of mail, and he got it back. At this time of the year Mr Khan reaps replies from the people who learn of his case. Last Christmas, a British government minister sent him a Christmas card. This year's unusual sender is first deputy director of the Cambodian Interpol. We didn't even know Cambodia had an Interpol. 'Best wiches [sic] of best health, propserity, successes and peace,' runs the message. Green machine TREE-PALS Friends of the Earth and a few of the organisation's leaf-bearing friends sent a very small fax to us straightening out the little matter of Christmas cards versus newspaper adverts and the cliquishness or otherwise of trees as a group. It is official: Adverts kill fewer trees than cards. 'And as for trees not returning any favours, why don't you try living a day without oxygen, furniture, walls, floors and newsprint,' they said. 'If I were you, I'd be very careful when walking in the forest from now on, matey.' Oxygen is a thing of the past as far as Lai See is concerned. If we wanted oxygen, we certainly wouldn't be living in Hong Kong. We are convinced anyway. We think everyone should give up furniture and live a totally tree-exploitation free life-style. Merry Christmas readers, and don't eat the holly on the Christmas pudding.