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Sunday, Jul 25, 2021

Banker, 59, plunges to death over $1m debt

Banker, 59, plunges to death over $1m debt

A 59-year-old bank manager stressed over repaying HK$1 million in debts plunged to his death from a Causeway Bay building early yesterday.
Leung, who lived in a building on Hennessy Road, texted his two friends about his suicidal thoughts following the trio's reunion meal on Monday.

He also asked the two to arrange his insurance and MPF withdrawals, as well as remind his ex-wife to repay debts to his friends on his behalf after his death.

His two friends, frightened, reported to the police and rushed to see Leung, only to find him dead in the back alley of the building at 3am yesterday.

Leung is believed to have fallen from the building's rooftop. A suicide note was found at the scene.

He had lived in a subdivided unit rented for HK$7,000 per month in the building for nearly two years, his neighbor said. The neighbor also recalled his son had visited him a few days ago.

Leung had worked at a bank in Wan Chai and was paid around HK$40,000 per month prior to his death. He also owned two properties and had lived in luxury.

But in recent years, he had become buried in debts due to failed investments. To pay off those debts, he had borrowed money from friends, banks, financial companies and intermediaries, sold his two properties and worked as a part-time dishwasher at restaurants.

Executive director of the Samaritan Befrienders Hong Kong Clarence Tsang Chin-kwok advised those who have difficulty repaying debts to seek assistance from debt restructuring teams and relevant professionals.

"A lot of people have run into financial issues amid the economic downturn due to the pandemic," Tsang said.

"Handling debts will inevitably lead to changes in life patterns, as some may have to file for bankruptcy."

Tsang admitted that the changes would be difficult for people who are used to having a decent income and living environment.

"But it would just take several years to overcome these change In the meantime, family members and friends should pay attention to them," he advised.

Last week, a 41-year-old trader was arrested in Yuen Long on suspicion of helping his parents kill themselves in a suicide pact before backing out at the last minute.

The parents plunged to their deaths from the rooftop of Ho Choi Building after the family faced financial troubles.

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