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Resourcing prevented HSBC rogue planner probe

ASIC has said "limited resources" prevented the regulator from launching an investigation into an HSBC planner who used clients' money for personal gain.

Speaking at a Senate Economic Legislation Committee hearing in Canberra yesterday, ASIC deputy chairman Peter Kell said the regulator did not follow up allegations made against rogue planner Simon Kwok by his former employer, HSBC, because ASIC believed it was a small case.

"Given the nature and the extent of the conduct, there was no ongoing consumer detriment and it was a relatively small number of consumers and they were being fully compensated," Mr Kell said.

"The adviser was no longer working in the sector and given that, we cannot act on every breach report, given our limited resourcing."

Earlier in the week, The Weekend Australian reported that Mr Kwok funnelled almost $3 million from clients into his offshore investment vehicle based in Singapore.

While the current number of clients affected is now believed to be 10, Mr Kell would not rule out that other clients may have lost money.

As a result, both the regulator and HSBC are now scrutinising the case in more detail.


"This [the number of clients] is one of the key issues we're determining," he said. "We're still looking at and analysing information that's come through quite recently. The information we have suggests quite a small number of clients have been affected."

Mr Kell confirmed that HSBC had referred the matter to the police.