Regulator ....please regulate.
Isn't time to investigate? Thousands have lost their lifesavings and they feel cheated because the products have been possibly mis-sold to them by so called relationship managers. If that is the case, rules have been broken and it is time for the authorities to act. Are the authorities waiting to see if they can get by doing nothing? Very world class of them.....
Right now in Hong Kong, lawmakers are getting ready to sue the banks for misselling the Lehman minibonds to retirees. There seem to be a big difference how the people in Hong Kong organise to protect themselves in times of trouble. Everyone in Hong Kong is mobilised to see what can be done to help the investors who were sold these products - these include the Consumer council, HKMA, and political leaders.
"What really frustrates me is the subdued response from MAS. As the financial watchdog, I think it has been extremely reactive and it has so far distanced itself from blame"-Mr Peter Lim, a Minibonds investor
In Singapore, the govt doesn't help you - you have to help yourself. My suggestion is to file a police report if you feel that there is mis-selling and mis-representation. I don't see how the authorities can sit around with several hundred of such complaints are made.
If you're holding the Lehman minibonds, a group of investors are meeting to see what can be done. I got this from Tan Kin Lian's blog:
Message from Jan Chan: Mr. Tan, please help us to pass this message through your blog. We are a group of Lehman Minibonds investors who are organizing a meeting tomorrow to discuss collective action and to sign a petition for submission to the authorities to voice our grievances.
Interested parties are encouraged to join us. Date/Time : Wed., 24/9/08 at 7pmVenue : outside Hans Cafe (#01-01) at the Central Public Library, 100 Victoria Street.
Jan Chan How to get to Central Public Library :Nearest MRT: Bugis MRT Station or City Hall MRT StationBus stop (North Bridge Road ): SBS 145, 197, 32, 51, 63, 7, 80 175 and SMRT 851, 61Bus stop (Victoria St -Allson Hotel) : SBS 2, 7, 12, 32, 33, 51, 63, 80, 175 and SMRT 61Bus stop (Victoria St -Bras Basah Complex) : SBS 2, 12, 33, 130, 133, SMRT 960, NR7Bus stop (Victoria St -St. Joseph's Church): SBS 130, 133, 145, 197, C3, SMRT 851, 960, NR7Bus stop (Middle Rd - Nam Peng Building) : SBS 56, SMRT 980
Date/Time : Wed., 24/9/08 at 7pmVenue : outside Hans Cafe (#01-01) at the Central Public Library.
You can trying seeing your MP. See if he is willing to work for you.
Funny isn't it? Why are all these volunteers like Tan Kin Lian the ones trying to organise something? Shouldn't a minister or even an MP who needs to win your support for the next election be the one to organise the citizens to serve their best interests?...
DBS 'High Notes 5' Investors:They pumped in life savings and now feel cheated
By Gracia Chiang
Madam Evon Chin literally choked when she heard last Tuesday that her $75,000 investment in a DBS Bank product was in jeopardy.
The payroll executive and her husband had invested the sum in High Notes 5, which was exposed to Lehman Brothers, the United States investment bank that went bust.
'I was eating my lunch when my husband called. I started choking on my food. My face was so red, my colleague had to thump my back,' said Madam Chin, 40.
Her husband had told her their investment - from savings over the last 10 years - might now be wiped out. Worried, she took two days of urgent leave, determined to seek an explanation from the bank.
Like many other investors, she failed to understand how Lehman's collapse could wipe out their entire investment.
She had thought their risk exposure was diversified since the product had a basket of eight reference entities. 'We felt swindled. We were told this was a low-risk investment,' she said.
DBS said last Wednesday that Lehman's collapse triggered a 'credit event' that had a significant impact on High Notes 5.
The product is structured on a first-to-default basis which means that if any of the eight reference entities goes bankrupt, a credit event will be triggered and clients might not get their entire principal amount.
Said Madam Chin: 'I've never lost so much, not even when I was investing in shares. This will be a serious blow to our nest egg. Will I really have enough to see my children through their education?'
They had intended the money to be used for the education of their two sons, aged six and one. 'Now I can forget about my wish to have a third kid. This is really the saddest thing.'
The couple expect to have to tighten their belts. 'I'm going to switch my children's milk powder to a cheaper one. There will be no more eating out.'
She might also have to give up seeing a traditional Chinese doctor for her eczema. She used to pay for the sessions with the monthly interest from the investment.
Other investors like retiree Tham Wai Wah, 60, also felt 'cheated'. She had trusted the relationship manager who had explained to her last year that the High Notes 5 product was 'very safe'.
She said that with only an O-level education, she could not fully understand the prospectus. 'I told them I'm a conservative investor and that this was my CPF money.'
She put in $125,000, part of her Central Provident Fund (CPF) savings she withdrew upon retirement after working for 30 years as a clerk. Her husband is also retired.
She said: 'This is our fall-back, our cushion for old age. How can I accept that now I might have zero returns? What if I have any major illness in the next 20 years?'
She is thankful that she still has $130,000 in savings. She is prepared to sell her five-room flat in Punggol and downgrade to a smaller one if money runs out. 'I thought we could go on holidays with this money,' she said.
Senior merchandiser Carene Tan, 44, is worried that she might not have enough money for her children's university education.
She had invested $25,000, which she intended to use to send her 15-year-old son abroad for further studies. Her other son is 12.
'I was so upset. It's not going to affect my livelihood now because I still have a job, but it's like having to work half a year for free.'
Madam Chin is now more cautious: 'I'll never touch any investment instrument anymore.'