Ex-bank employee charged with conspiracy to accept bribes
A former bank employee was charged by the ICAC yesterday (September 7) with conspiracy to accept bribes in relation to two bank loans amounted to $12 million by concealing the identity of the ultimate controller of two Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
The ICAC investigation arose from a corruption complaint. Upon completion of the investigation, the ICAC sought legal advice from the Department of Justice, which advised charges be laid against the former bank employee.
Tsang Kin-man, 46, former team head of the trade service department of the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited (HSBC), faces two counts of conspiracy for an agent to accept an advantage, contrary to Section 9(1)(a) of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance and Section 159A of the Crimes Ordinance.
The defendant was released on ICAC bail, pending his appearance in the Eastern Magistrates’ Courts tomorrow (September 9) for plea.
At all material times, the defendant was the team head of the trade service department of HSBC. One of his duties was to promote finance products of the bank to corporate clients. Should a corporate client decide to engage HSBC’s services, the request would be followed up by relationship managers of the bank.
The charges allege that between August 20, 2010 and November 19, 2012, the defendant conspired together with a friend for the defendant to, without lawful authority or reasonable excuse, accept two bribes consisting of a certain amount out of the loan limits granted by HSBC to Waty International Company Limited (WICL) and Mondex International Industries Limited (MIIL) as an inducement to or reward for the defendant to conceal the fact that the friend was the person who had ultimate control over the two SMEs.
ICAC enquiries revealed that the defendant referred WICL and MIIL to his colleagues for applications of bank loans in 2010. Although the two SMEs were respectively held by two nominal owners, the defendant’s friend had ultimate control over the two companies and the two SMEs were allegedly set up solely for the purpose of making loan applications to various banks. When handling the two loan applications concerned, the identity of the ultimate controller of the two SMEs was one of the material factors for consideration. HSBC eventually granted two loans totalling $12 million to the two SMEs in 2012.
HSBC has rendered full assistance to the ICAC during its investigation into the case.