24 December, AtoZForex.com, Lagos – Hong Kong’s foremost financial watchdog, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has announced the suspension of licensed representative under the Securities and Futures Ordinance, due to breaches in the proper code of conduct. SFC suspends dealer, Mr Fabiano Hugues Joseph Mascolo for three months from 21 December 2015 to 20 March 2016 for the dual reasons of:
- receiving order instructions from a client via WhatsApp messaging on his mobile phone, which is in breach of BTIG’s internal control policy
- allowing a friend who was a licensed representative of another firm, to use his personal securities account at a brokerage firm to conduct personal trades without obtaining prior written consent from his friend’s then employers.
Wrongful use of WhatsApp
The suspension is based on investigative discoveries that in October 2013, Mascolo, while an employee of BTIG Hong Kong Limited, wrongfully received order instructions from a client via WhatsApp messaging on his mobile phone. This act is in prohibition of BTIG’s written electronic communications policy. Under this rule, employees are forbidden from using text-messaging on mobile phones that are not supported by its IT department and if the intended purpose is related to its Hong Kong business activities.
In proving the decision as SFC suspends dealer, the quoted quoted the following clauses:
- the Code of Conduct for Persons Licensed by or Registered with the Securities and Futures Commission provides that in conducting its business activities, a licensed or registered person should act with due skill, care and diligence, in the best interests of its clients and the integrity of the market.
- the Code of Conduct for Persons Licensed by or Registered with the Securities and Futures Commission requires that a licensed or registered person should not knowingly deal in securities or futures contracts for another licensed or registered person’s employee unless it has received written consent from that licensed or registered person.
Based on these background, Mascolo has now been suspended for three months from dealing in securities for his oversight. At the moment, he is not accredited to any licensed corporation, having served in this capacity at both BTIG Hong Kong Limited and MCM Asia Limited.
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