SBEU thought Banks, being at the top
end of the Institutions of civil society, have developed professional
and ethical human resources management policies. Well we thought
Hong Leong Bank dismissed Josephine, a SBEU member in Miri Branch on
5th November 2001 whom it accused of misappropriating RM500. The facts
of the case are as follows:
On 1 Oct 2001 a customer present a cheque amounting to RM500 to the
member for payment. Josephine posted the cheque, and when she noticed
that the signature of the cheque does not match the one that is on the
computer screen, she aborted the transaction and refer the check to
the officer. The systems did not call for printing of the check. She
did not realise that even though she has aborted the transaction, and
that the cheque was not validated, the account was in fact debited.
The officer after checking instructed her to return the cheque to the
At the end of the day, she balanced her physical cash. However when
she cast the cash vouchers, she discovered that one of the vouchers
was missing. She traced it back to that particular transaction and
reported the matter to the officer. She confirmed that she balanced
her cash till.
By right, she should have a cash excess of RM500. As the account was
debited but the customer was not paid. However she did not have an
The bank charged her for misappropriating the RM500. She categorically
denied the charge. It is entirely probable that there could be a
compensating error involving another transaction. As the day in
question was 1st of the month, there were a lot of transactions- she
paid out more than RM210,000 and received more than RM107,000 in cash.
SBEU believe that any staff, whether they are SBEU members or not,
must be dismissed if found guilty of any fraudulent misconduct, as
staff in the banking Industry must exhibit the highest standards of
honesty and integrity.
However, before the bank dismissed anyone for misappropriation, which
is a criminal misconduct, there must be clear and convincing proof,
and there must be proper investigation in line with accepted
industrial relations practice and natural justice.
SBEU also believe that in cases where the Bank has established a
reasonable belief that the staff is guilty of the offence, the dispute
should be referred through the normal dispute resolution procedures
under the Industrial Relations Act 1967.
However In this case, there is not a shred of evidence
that our Member misappropriate the money. There are so many
inconsistencies in the bank's case that we have the gravest doubts as
to the integrity, fairness and professionalism of the Bank's human
"Notes of Domestic Inquiry (DI) were not given to our member until the
27 Nov 2001, and only after intervention from SBEU, thereby
prejudicing her appeal.
"The Bank confirmed that the notes of the inquiry were not ready and
were still being check by the DI Panel members as at 13th November
2001. The Bank dismissed Josephine on 5th November 2001 on the basis
that the Panel of the DI has found her guilty. How can the panel find
her guilty on 5th November, if the notes were not even ready at that
time? On what basis and on what evidence?
"When we pointed out to the HR that the missing RM500 could be due to
a compensating error, and that the DI did not look into this
possibility, the HR turn around to claim that they did check. This is
a lie. The day's other transactions were never checked during the DI.
The notes of the inquiry confirmed this.
"We have also received credible reports the DI panel initially found
Josephine not guilty. They were then "requested" by the HR to change
" Immediately after dismissing Josephine, the bank freezes her savings
a/c denying her access to her own money for her daily survival.
The bank tried to make Josephine a scapegoat for what essentially is a
loss caused by a system error.
SBEU will not tolerate such unprofessional conduct will take all
necessary actions against the bank until the dismissal is rescinded
SBEU members in Hong Leong will now picket wef 21st Dec. We request
members in all Banks and Finance Companies in Sarawak to be ready for
all out action!
SBEU SAY NO TO HONG LEONG BANK!