Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying is caught up in a new controversy after reports that his younger daughter interned at a Hong Kong subsidiary of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. when she was only a secondary student.
Leung Chung-yan did the internship in the summer of 2010 when she was in secondary school, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports, citing Frontline Tech Workers Concern Group.
The group questioned how Chung-yan could have won the job when the bank’s internship program offered in Hong Kong did not apply to secondary school students.
JP Morgan just paid US$264 million to US securities regulators after a three-year investigation to settle a case in which the bank was accused of employing children and acquaintances of Chinese officials, clients and potential clients in exchange for business opportunities in China.
According to the settlement documents, JP Morgan’s Hong Kong subsidiary held a “summer camp” for children of its clients in 2010 and 2011.
In addition, the children could be offered internship jobs at the bank but the sponsoring bankers “need to make a strong case for their referrals — a minimum of US$3M tangible fees” during the period.
One of JP Morgan’s bankers was quoted in the documents as saying that the bank had prepared a good plan to take care of those “little darlings”, Apple Daily reports.
According to Leung Chung-yan’s resume on the professional networking site LinkedIn, she was an intern with JP Morgan in July and August 2010 when her father was the convenor of the Executive Council, Asia Pacific chairman of UK-listed DTZ Holdings and a member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).
Democratic Party Lawmaker Lam Cheuk-ting urged Leung to give a detailed explanation of whether he had helped his daughter get the internship in any way.
The Chief Executive’s Office said Wednesday that Leung Chung-yan’s internship had nothing to do with money and did not involve Leung Chun-ying’s position in the government at that time.
The office also said the matter did not concern Fang Fang, JP Morgan’s former chief of investment banking for China, who was named as a member of the Commission on Strategic Development by Leung one year after he took office as Hong Kong chief executive in July 2012.
JP Morgan declined to comment.
Stephen Char Shik-ngor, a former chief corruption investigator, said the whole thing regarding Chung-yan’s internship did have reasonable doubt but also lacked concrete evidence.
In April, Chung-yan was embroiled in an airport incident in which her father was accused of abusing his power to force a Cathay Pacific staff to break safety regulations over her luggage.
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