MPFA suspended the registration of PANG Hiu Chung as an MPF intermediary for 32 months
The MPFA has suspended the registration of PANG Hiu Chung as an MPF intermediary for 32 months from 9 November 2022 to 8 July 20251.
The MPFA found that when PANG invited or induced 17 MPF scheme members to join or become a member of an MPF scheme and to transfer the scheme members’ MPF from an MPF scheme to another scheme in 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 intermediary3 must (i) act honestly, fairly, in the best interests of the client and with integrity; (ii) exercise a level of care, skill and diligence that may reasonably be expected of a prudent person who is carrying on the regulated activity; (iii) make such disclosure of information to the client as is necessary for the client to be sufficiently informed for the purpose of making any material decision; and (iv) use best endeavours to avoid a conflict between the interests of the principal or subsidiary intermediary (as the case may be) and the interests of the client and, in the case of such a conflict, must disclose the conflict to the client. PANG also contravened the Guidelines on Conduct Requirements for Registered Intermediaries4. The key facts of PANG’s misconduct are summarized as follows:
- PANG failed to disclose or provide accurate information to 14 scheme members about the difference in management fees charged for a personal account (PA) and a contribution account (CA);
- PANG misled 14 scheme members to believe that it is a must to open PAs before transferring MPF from their existing CAs to another scheme;
- PANG failed to disclose to two scheme members whether his principal intermediary and/or he himself will receive benefit for the transfer of the two scheme members’ MPF.He failed to avoid and disclose the conflict of interest (actual or potential) in conducting transfer of MPF for the two scheme members;
- PANG gave instructions to a trustee to change a scheme member’s specimen signature without the scheme member’s authorization;
- PANG failed to ensure that a total of eight MPF forms were duly completed in all material respects before asking five scheme members to sign on them;
- PANG failed to provide copies of a total of 69 signed forms to the respective 17 scheme members; and
- PANG delayed in handling two scheme members’ instructions for scheme enrolment.
In deciding the disciplinary sanction, the MPFA took into account all relevant circumstances, including the nature, seriousness and impact of PANG’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 –
9 November 2022
1 PANG (MPF Registration No. 114549) has been a subsidiary intermediary attached to Sun Life Hong Kong Limited since 7 August 2015.
2 Section 34ZL(1)(a), (b), (e) and (f) of the MPFSO.
3 A subsidiary intermediary is a person registered by the MPFA to carry out MPF sales and marketing activities and to give regulated advice on behalf of a principal intermediary to which the person is attached.
4 The Guidelines provides that an MPF intermediary should:
(a) not make inaccurate or misleading statements about itself, other registered intermediaries, any other party connected with the operation or distribution of registered schemes and / or constituent funds, any registered scheme or constituent fund, whether knowingly or recklessly (paragraph III.2);
(b) ensure that any form to be signed by a client is duly completed in all material respects before asking the client to sign on it, and provide the client with a copy of the form as soon as reasonably practicable (paragraph III.3);
(c) act in best interests of client in conducting sales and marketing activities and in giving regulated advice in relation to registered schemes / constituent funds (paragraph III.8);
(d) take all reasonable steps to carry out client instructions promptly and accurately, notify the client after the instructions have been carried out and alert the client within a reasonable time in case of any delay or failure to execute the client’s instruction by the registered intermediary (paragraph III.17);
(e) provide its client with information that is clear, accurate and relevant to the material decision being made (paragraph III.31);
(f) provide the client with a statement (at the time of the invitation, inducement or advice) on whether the principal intermediary and / or any of its subsidiary intermediaries will charge the client any direct fees for the services to be provided or will be compensated (either directly or indirectly) in some other manner (such as commission or salary bonus) in respect of the invitation, inducement or advice. The statement should also set out whether the benefits receivable would be different depending on the choice of registered scheme(s) or constituent fund(s) made by the client.The statement can be a generic disclosure of the nature of monetary and non-monetary benefits receivable by the principal and / or subsidiary intermediary (paragraph III.35);
(g) explain to the client the key features of the registered scheme such as the level of fees and charges, the fund choices available in the scheme and the range of services offered by the approved trustees and its service providers in relation to the operation and distribution of the scheme in providing the information materials to enable the client to be sufficiently informed for the purpose of making material decisions (paragraph III.38(a));
(h) provide information on fees and charges of registered schemes / constituent finds to the client and communicate any terms and conditions of the discount of fees and charges, where applicable, to the client (paragraph III.50); and
(i) avoid any conflict of interest and if it has a material interest which gives rise to an actual or potential conflict of interest, should disclose that material interest or conflict to the client and take all reasonable steps to ensure fair treatment of the client.An example of such a conflict of interest may be where the registered intermediary receives a benefit (monetary or non-monetary) upon completing a sale or upon giving regulated advice (see III.35) (paragraph III.53).