Hong Kong Slaps Banker With Ban Over Mobile Phone, WeChat Use

Man Putting Coin in Piggy Bank

Source: Bloomberg Markets

Hong Kong’s securities watchdog banned a brokerage employee from the industry for four months for the manner in which the adviser used mobile phone and Tencent Holdings Ltd.’s WeChat to take orders from clients.

Xu Tao, a former investment consultant of China International Capital Corporation Hong Kong Securities Ltd., can’t work in the industry again until February, the Securities and Futures Commission said in a statement on its website dated Wednesday. Xu used his mobile phone and WeChat messaging application to accept order instructions from 13 clients between February and August 2015, in breach of the SFC’s code of conduct and his employer’s internal rules, according to the statement.

Regulators around the world are grappling with how to make sure finance-industry employees meet record-keeping obligations as technology makes it easier to communicate and conduct business on private platforms. Earlier this year, a former Jefferies Group LLC banker was fined in the U.K. for sharing confidential data on WhatsApp.

In Hong Kong, telephone orders must be recorded and if a transaction is arranged by mobile phone, the person taking the order is obliged to immediately call their own company and note the order details in a recorded conversation, the SFC said in its statement.

CICC’s Beijing-based spokeswoman couldn’t immediately comment when reached by phone.

Source: Bloomberg Markets