Ex-RBS banker Shirlina Tsang is jailed for covering up £19.5m losses

  • @lucytobin

A former Royal Bank of Scotland banker who ran up £19.5 million losses, then admitted to committing fraud trying to hide them at the British taxpayer-owned bank, was today jailed for 50 months.

Shirlina Tsang, 43, admitted to a court in Hong Kong, where she worked for RBS, that she had created false records of her bond trading between 2010 and October 2011 to make it appear she was generating profit.

Her lawyer cited the Nick Leeson case in her plea for leniency, saying Tsang’s case was far less serious. Leeson, the Barings banker, covered up losses of more than £800 million in Singapore which caused the investment bank’s collapse, Tsang’s lawyer Edwin Choy said.

Leeson was sentenced to six and a half years’ prison in 1995 after admitting fraud.

Choy said Tsang, who had worked for RBS since 2004, had returned bonuses worth HK$1.05 million (£86,000) to RBS to show her remorse. “Her crime is simply that she had concealed her losses,” Choy said. He added that her “colossal misjudgment” was due to pressure at work and depression caused by her brother’s death. Her sentence could have been up to seven years.

“This is an extremely serious offence,” District Court Judge Garry Tallentire said. “Your acts led to enormous losses by RBS.”

“As a result of an internal review about two years ago, we discovered suspected fraudulent activities concerning a former member of staff in Hong Kong,” RBS said. “We took immediate action to notify the relevant authorities and the individual was dismissed.”

JPMorgan today set out plans to spend an extra $4 billion (£2.5 billion) and commit 5000 extra employees to fix risk and compliance issues after a slew of investigations by regulatory authorities. The investment bank is set to spend  $1.5 billion on managing risk and complying with regulations and said it will put an extra $2.5 billion towards its litigation reserves in the second half of the year, the Wall Street Journal reported.