A former Royal Bank of Scotland banker who racked up £19.5m losses, then admitted to committing fraud trying to hide them at the British taxpayer-owned bank, was yesterday 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. Mr Leeson, the Barings banker, covered up losses of more than £800m in Singapore which caused the investment bank’s collapse, Tsang’s lawyer Edwin Choy said.
Mr Leeson was sentenced to six and a half years’ prison in 1995 after admitting fraud.
Mr Choy said Tsang, who had worked for RBS since 2004, had returned bonuses worth HK$1.05m (£86,000) to RBS to show her remorse. “Her crime is simply that she had concealed her losses,” Mr Choy said.
He added that her “colossal misjudgement” 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 as he handed down the sentence. “Your acts led to enormous losses by RBS.”
RBS said: “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.”