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Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has banned Mr Lam Ching Chiu and Mr Wong Siu Fung, both former licensed representatives of Nerico Brothers Limited, from re-entering the industry for five years. The ban will last from 6 February 2024 to 5 February 2029 and follows Lam and Wong’s criminal convictions of bribery offences.

Lam and Wong were found guilty in August 2022 at the District Court of paying the then chief executive officer (CEO) of Hong Kong Financial Engineering Company Limited (HKFECL) bribes in relation to utilising a computerised algorithmic programme used for futures trading. The CEO was the developer of the trading programme and was responsible for its operation, while Lam and Wong, as well as their clients, used it to invest in futures contracts from late 2014 to early 2015.

Around December 2014 or January 2015, in addition to the service fee charged by HKFECL, the CEO asked Lam and Wong to pay a commission for each profitable transaction conducted as a reward for his staff who assisted with the operation of the trading programme.

Lam subsequently paid the CEO between $60,000 and $70,000. Wong also gave a mobile phone and cosmetic products worth $12,500 to the CEO in December 2014 at his request, out of a desire to maintain a good relationship with him.

Neither Lam nor Wong had checked whether the above practices were known or acceptable to HKFECL before they made the payments or gifts to the CEO.

In deciding the sanctions, the SFC considers that Lam and Wong are not fit and proper persons to be licensed to carry on regulated activities due to their criminal convictions.

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