MPFA suspended the registration of TO Kong as an MPF intermediary for 40 months
The MPFA has suspended the registration of TO Kong as an MPF intermediary for 40 months from 15 March 2021 to 14 July 20241.
The MPFA found that when TO invited or induced an MPF scheme member to join or become a member of an MPF scheme as well as to transfer the scheme member’s MPF benefits from another MPF scheme to that scheme in or about August 2018, he contravened the conduct requirements under the Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Ordinance (MPFSO)2, including that when carrying on a regulated activity, a subsidiary intermediary must act honestly, fairly, in the best interests of the client and with integrity, and exercise a level of care, skill and diligence that may reasonably be expected of a prudent person who is carrying on the regulated activity. He also contravened the Guidelines on Conduct Requirements for Registered Intermediaries3. The key facts of TO’s misconduct are summarized as follows:
(1) TO effected the transfer without the scheme member’s authorization;
(2) in order to complete the unauthorized transfer, TO misused the scheme member’s personal information and forged the scheme member’s signature on five MPF forms; and
(3) TO impersonated the scheme member in calling an MPF trustee to obtain the scheme member’s account information.
In deciding the disciplinary sanction, the MPFA took into account all relevant circumstances, including the nature, seriousness and impact of TO’s breaches and that he has no previous disciplinary record with the MPFA.
The case was referred to the MPFA following investigation by the Insurance Authority.
A copy of the Statement of Disciplinary Action is available here.
– Ends –
15 March 2021
1. TO (MPF Registration No. 111913) was as a subsidiary intermediary attached to Manulife International Limited between 30 December 2014 and 12 October 2018. He was then attached to Noble Apex Wealth Limited as a subsidiary intermediary between 14 February 2019 and 5 January 2021. TO is currently not attached to any principal intermediary. The MPFA will consider the suspension decision and the grounds for it should any principal intermediary apply for attachment of TO under section 34V of the MPFSO.
2. Section 34ZL(1)(a) and (b) of the MPFSO.
3. The Guidelines provides that an MPF intermediary should:
(a) treat all information supplied by a client as confidential, must not disclose or use such information except as permitted at law and avoid any misuse of the personal information obtained in the course of its business activities (paragraph III.9); and
(b) comply with the controls, procedures and standards of conduct as required by his principal intermediary (paragraph III.20).