Wed, Jan 07, 2009 - Page 11 News List

Staffers at Fubon Bank HK arrested in loan fraud case

AFP , HONG KONG

More than a dozen employees at a subsidiary of Fubon Bank (Hong Kong) (富邦香港) have been arrested over a possible HK$50 million (US$6.4 million) loan fraud, officials said yesterday.

The 13 staff members were arrested on suspicion of “corruption in relation to applications for machinery hire-purchase loans,” the Independent Commission Against Corruption said in a statement.

The investigation started after complaints that bank staff may have accepted “advantages” from a number of machine dealers and loan applicants, the statement said, without specifying what the advantages may have included.

“In return, the arrested bank employees allegedly facilitated the loan applications submitted by these applicants and machine dealers for the purchase of various machines,” the statement said.

The bank employees were also suspected of “conniving to falsify loan supporting documents, including quotations, sale and purchase documents and invoices of those machines,” it said.

The arrests of 10 marketing staff and three credit officers were made in November last year following an operation codenamed “Invisible Fist,” the statement said.

Fubon spokeswoman Betty Chan (陳碧霞) said the alleged fraud took place at Fubon Bank Credit, a wholly owned subsidiary dealing in loans and hire-purchase arrangements.

The arrested staffers have been released on bail, the commission said.

Fubon Bank (Hong Kong) is a subsidiary of Fubon Financial Holding Co (富邦金控), one of the top financial services groups in Taiwan.

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