Hong Kong's securities regulator banned Lam Ka Wo for three years after dishonest conduct that could have resulted in a substantial loss for “innocent customers”, according to a filing yesterday by the Securities and Futures Commission.

Without proper authorisation, Lam permitted a third party to open and operate a customer account at UOB Kay Hian (Hong Kong) in the name of another person and transfer securities from the UOB account to the customer’s account at another brokerage firm.

Lam failed to identify and keep records of the person responsible for the account, who benefited from the transactions and provided false and misleading information to UOB in the client’s account opening documents.

The SFC found Lam’s behaviour “seriously dishonest” and noted that although these specific transactions “did not cause any loss to the concerned customer in this case ... misconduct of this kind could inflict substantial loss on innocent customers” and potentially enable other market players to engage in “fraudulent or other inappropriate activities”.

“A clear message needs to be sent to the market that misconduct similar to Lam’s will not be tolerated and might result in a suspension of licence,” the filing adds.

Lam has been suspended until May 17, 2016. He was employed at UOB from August 23, 2004 through March 28, 2013.