SFA suspends Bax until 1998

The Securities and Futures Authority, the City regulator, has suspended James Bax, a former Barings director, from its register of directors until the end of the year and ordered him to pay costs of pounds 10,000, writes Jill Treanor.

The move against Mr Bax, who was based in Singapore, is the last of the SFA's disciplinary proceedings against former Barings directors, although some appeals are outstanding.

The SFA said Mr Bax admitted that he had failed to request the authority to remedy weakness in the organisation of Baring Futures Singapore or draw sufficient attention of senior management to these matters.

He also admitted he did not deal with the "SLK receivable" transaction with sufficient promptness and firmness. The SLK was an unreconciled amount of 7.778bn (pounds 50m) identified by auditors of Baring (Futures) Singapore in January 1995 and reported to Mr Bax on 1 February 1995.

However, the SFA said it had taken into account the fact that Mr Bax did not appreciate the significance of the transaction.

He had no product responsibility for the proprietary trading activities of Nick Leeson, the trader who stacked up the pounds 800m of losses that broke Barings in 1995, the SFA said, nor did he have any knowledge of futures and options.

Richards Butler, the law firm acting for Mr Bax, said he denied any liability in the SFA proceedings.

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