RETAIL INVESTMENT | Cesar Tordesillas, Hong Kong

HKMA pegs Lehman punitive cases at 432

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority announced that there are currently 432 Lehman-Brothers-related cases under disciplinary consideration. These are cases which have gone through detailed investigation by the HKMA.

"A number of cases are at a very advanced stage of the enforcement process. Before making a final determination in these cases, we have to go through due process to ensure fairness, including giving the subjects of investigation an opportunity to be heard," said by an HKMA spokesperson.

In addition, the HKMA has referred to the Securities and Futures Commission 17 cases involving complaints of alleged misconduct in respect of investment products related to Lehman Brothers.

The 17 cases, which are the thirtieth batch of Lehman-Brothers-related cases referred in this way, involve alleged misconduct by one licensed bank in Hong Kong. Since 17 October 2008 the HKMA has referred a total of 474 Lehman-Brothers-related cases, involving 16 banks, to the SFC for further action. These cases have been reviewed by the HKMA, which has determined that there are sufficient grounds for referring them to the SFC to facilitate its investigations into banks.

The HKMA has, up to 4 June 2009, received 21,162 complaints concerning Lehman-Brothers-related products, of which 20,941 complaints have gone through the preliminary assessment process. As a result of the assessment, the HKMA is currently investigating 5,938 cases and seeking further information on 13,441 cases. A total of 1,130 complaints have been closed as there was no sufficient prima facie evidence found after the preliminary assessment process or no sufficient grounds and evidence found after the detailed investigation.

"The closure of these cases will not affect the top-down investigations being undertaken by the SFC at the bank level," the HKMA spokesman said.

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