Fri, May 10, 2019 - Page 2 News List

Hua Nan manager held over illegal banking transfers

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

Hua Nan Commercial Bank assistant manager Chang Hsiu-mi lowers her head as she enters the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office on Wednesday.

Photo: Chien Li-chung, Taipei Times

A Hua Nan Commercial Bank manager in Taipei was yesterday detained over the illegal transfers of about NT$150 million (US$4.85 million) out of customers’ accounts over 14 years.

Officials at the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office said that they launched an investigation after Hua Nan last month found discrepancies and irregularities in money transfers, which it reported to authorities.

Prosecutors summoned the bank’s assistant manager, Chang Hsiu-mi (張秀米); her husband, Weng Ming-chun (翁明鈞); and an in-law, Yu Ming-chang (余明滄), for questioning. They were detained after being unable to post bail.

The trio were listed as suspects in the case and face charges including embezzlement and breach of trust, as well as contraventions of the Banking Act (銀行法), prosecutors said.

Chang had for many years worked as a financial portfolio manager for VIP clients at Hua Nan’s branches in Taipei, investigators said.

Investigators found that Chang began transferring money out of clients’ accounts in 2005.

She colluded with Weng and Yu, who ran their registered business Fong Mao International Co (豐茂國際公司), investigators said.

Prosecutors searched the two Hua Nan branches, Fong Mao International Co and the suspects’ residences over the past few days.

More than 10 VIP clients allegedly lost more than NT$10 million each, and prosecutors said the evidence was clear, as each transaction, loan request and wire transfer had been recorded at the bank’s branches.

Prosecutors said that Chang directed and approved the money transfers to Fong Mao International Co.

Prosecutors questioned whether senior management at the bank had also been negligent, as the financial irregularities had gone unnoticed for 14 years.

The bank might also have breached financial regulations, as transactions of more than NT$500,000 are supposed to be reported daily to protect against money laundering, prosecutors said.

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