Hong’s Kong’s securities regulator has banned Global Credit Securities employee Yip Wan-Fung from re-entering the financial industry for life and suspended Wu Li-Jun, formerly of China Merchants Securities, for six months for failing to properly safeguard her clients’ assets.

The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) said it considered Yip not to be a fit and proper person as a result of her convictions on criminal charges.

In October 2010, Yip was sentenced to six years' imprisonment after being found guilty of four criminal offences, including conspiracy to defraud, publishing a false statement and conspiracy to deal with the proceeds of an indictable offence. She was also disqualified from becoming a company director for eight years.

In March, the Court of Final Appeal had dismissed Yip’s application for leave to appeal. She is currently licensed to conduct type 1 (dealing in securities) activity and is a responsible officer of Global Credit Securities.

In Wu's case, she had made nine unauthorised deposits totalling HK$15.8 million ($2 million) for various clients to China Merchants Securities’ segregated accounts.

The SFC determined that Wu knew she was not permitted to make cash deposits on behalf of clients in their absence and had deliberately circumvented the firm’s internal control procedures to make them.

She had failed to properly and adequately safeguard client assets as she had put her clients’ interests at risk by allowing them to deposit funds into her personal bank account or a third party’s bank account before the funds were then deposited into China Merchants Securities’ segregated accounts.

The SFC considered that Wu’s conduct called into question her fitness and properness to be a licensed person.

In deciding the penalty, the regulator took into account that she had promptly deposited the money received from her clients into China Merchants Securities’ segregated accounts and that she had an otherwise clean disciplinary record.

Wu was licensed to carry on type 1 (dealing in securities) and type 2 (dealing in futures contracts) regulated activities and was accredited to China Merchants Securities and China Merchants Futures between January 25, 2006 and January 14, 2014. She is not currently licensed by the SFC.