Friday, October 10, 2008

BREAK NEWS : Minibond holders in HK offered full compensation

This compensation is offered by none other than DBS Bank in Hong Kong. Now there might be some pressure on local banks to make the same offer.

I wonder if the sale of these minibonds had only happened in Singapore, what would have happened:

1. We had one senior politician telling people "That's life..." after they lost their life savings.

2. A regulator that declared it had no power to force banks to give compensation and asked banks to appoint their own investigators. A regulator that met with banks first and asked the aggrieved investors to go individually to the banks.

3. A population that is not allowed to protest on the streets and vocalise the injustice.
Contrast that to Hong Kong:

1. Day 1 : People were out on the streets.
2. Day 2: Regulator meets with the investors. Threaten to suspend bank licenses if wrongdoing is found.
3. Day 3: Political leaders declare they will help investors anyway they can.
4. Regulators initiate investigation into mis-selling. Threaten more action.
5. More protests....

DBS exists in Singapore and Hong Kong. Why is it the Hong Kong side that offered investors full compensation first? When we gave up some of our political freedoms, it might not have been clear what else we have traded away. The minibond issue is a clear illustration of what we have lost because it also happened in Hong Kong. The reaction by the our leadership and authorities to what has could have been grave injustice committed on senior citizens and investors was lack lustre.


DBS offer full compensation to mini-bond holders
Report by:

DBS Bank in Hong Kong has said it will offer full compensation to customers who bought mini-bonds issued by Lehman Brothers. Customers only need to prove to DBS that DBS staff misled them during the sales process (0:23).


Anonymous said...

In Singapore, we all exist for the 'greater good'. The bottom-lin and the P/L sheet are more important that the welfare of the people.

We need change.

Singaporeans get what they vote for.

Anonymous said...

That senior minister should retire for good instead of spewing nonsense.

Didn't his wife retorted to the media that TT Durai's salary was nothing.

Anonymous said...

In the US, people's 401K (for retirement) got wiped out by stocks.

In Singapore, the old folks, uncles and aunties' retirement or coffin funds got wiped out by DBS's aggressive misrepresenting and mal-marketing and MAS's Bo Chap de-regulation.

Anonymous said...

If the minibond holders dares to take to the street I am pretty sure they would get a refund too.

The problem is ... do they have the guts?

PS: If it make u feel any better, the Yanks are getting what they vote for too.

Anonymous said...

Shame on Singapore. Shame on DBS & GLCs. Shame on 66.6%.

Anonymous said...

We are expected to suffer our losses in silence.

Now I know why it is illegal in s'pore to take to the streets...

Anonymous said...

At times like this, as much as I feel sorry for those who lost money, I just can't help but have a cynical smile on my face and can't help but say to the 66.6%, you got screwed again and again and you voted to get more. Now you got the big whammy.

Anonymous said...

"This is the danger of the govt becoming involved as an investor in major businesses through GIC or Temasek. How can you expect the govt to be impartial, or to right the wrong, or to actively help the people when all they would be doing is slapping their own hand/business?"

The Hong Kong govt goes after the errant big businesses because they are not shareholders in big businesses such as DBS et al. There is no conflict of interest.

As long as the PAP continues to puts its LEFT hand in all sorts of govt-linked big businesses, we cannot expect the RIGHT hand to be impartial and accountable. How many of you here would fine your wife $800,000 and the money goes out of your household to charity?

Anonymous said...

agreed wholeheartedly with last anonymous' point about PAP's conflict of interest in governing and having a share in big business.

so much for corporate governance, transparency and accountability to the people.

Anonymous said...

DBS,sgp, where are you? Where is your voice? MAS is drowning. Only thing MAS is allow to do is receive petition from Mr. Tan Kian Lian. Why so nice to Hong Kong and treat Sgp investors like 2nd class citizen? Better to be a independent as both the govt and opposition are the same voiceless people when there are trouble they think they cannot handle.

Anonymous said...

That's life...Let's move on.

Anonymous said...

Now Singaporeans will understand the benefits of check and balance for Govt.

US = Republicans V Democrats
UK = Labour V Conservative

Singapore = PAP V ???

Economist with a Heart ;)

Anonymous said...

"Singapore's dollar reached a one-year low after the city-state became the first economy in Asia to slip into a recession."

-- Bloomberg News, 10th Oct.

How come Lee's self-claimed first world country is so 'cannot make it'?
Malaysia hasn't slipped into depression yet leh....

Anonymous said...

can someone explain how these things work?

The bank collected millions of dollars and bought.....what?

ST talked about swaps - what did they buy? and swap with what?

Is there a link where I can learn something in layman term Mr Lucky?

and if they did not buy bonds with a par value or a promised principal value at the end, how did MAS allow DBS bank (majority owned by Temasek Holdings, where our cabinet ministers are in their board of directors as well as running MAS) - how did MAS allow DBS to sell them as mini-BONDS.

Was there a dereliction of duties in MAS??


Anonymous said...

Next time I want to invest in DBS products, I will do so via its HK branch.

There appears to be much stronger consumer protection in HK than in Singapore.

CASE, our consumer watchdog, has kept quiet throughout this entire debacle. MAS claims it is powerless to make banks compensate investors even if the banks misled investors. No local politician is fighting for the affected investors. The only ones doing so are Mr Tan and Lucky Tan, and they aren't paid million-dollar salaries.

I am investing in HK-DBS in future. No more Singapore-DBS for me, thank you.

Anonymous said...

CASE is part of NTUC, and their big boss is Lim Swee Say who reports to PM Lee and SM Goh.

DBS is owned by Temasek which is owned by Ho Ching.

Disgusting, but true - what help is there for the lay man if DBS wants to screw the man in the street??

Anonymous said...

sporeans voted for the PAP govt, so they deserve the double standards and treatment this govt dishes out to them.

"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."

Anonymous said...

In Singapore the regulator, by connection, is also the biggest shareholder of DBS, so do you expect them to suspend DBS's banking license? Secondly, the full compensation, if proceeded upon, coupled with those in HK, will blow a big hole in the bank's financial position.

The compensation offer is still, after all, dependent on being successful in proving that DBS staff misled the investors. Not very comforting to know that.

Anonymous said...

"1. We had one senior politician telling people "That's life..." after they lost their life savings."

Yes, "That's life...." in Singapore.

So carefree and cheap like a packet of peanuts. NTUC brand, only about 1$ per packet.

Anonymous said...

I felt horrible that close to 1000 folks, mostly retirees lost so much of their life savings. Our gahmen stood by and spew craps and not a word of apology for MAS failings. Where is the regulation that should be there? What is MAS doing all these while? Do they only know how to print money and set policy for our SG$? Is that what they do all year? Our million dollar ministers have said nothing much except big mouth GOH talk crap again. Who was Finance Minister during 2005-2007? He definitely not doing his job well as there are conflict of interest. Husband telling Wife your toxic like bond safe or not investment? Can sell to general public thru DBS wont have any problems? Wife said" of course worry not! safe like a bond" These are signs of a failing "democracy" in Singapore, where conflicts of interest are aplenty. Singaporeans please wake up now, slumber is not an option! If you want to have such a well paid gahmen to run the country like a corporation, please migrate to Burma or north korea if not please vote wisely in 2011.


Anonymous said...

"Who was Finance Minister during 2005-2007? He definitely not doing his job well as there are conflict of interest. Husband telling Wife your toxic like bond safe or not investment? "

No wonder the fuck@#$@ing clown want to step down so urgently !
Now we know why !
All hail to Papstard family !

Time for gullible to eat Mee Siam Mai Hum

Close Down Your DBS/POSB Accounts said...

Singaporeans are not powerless. Move your money out from DBS/POSB to another local bank.

It is only rational to move your money away from the very same bank that had cheated you, your friends and other affiliates.

Massive withdrawal of money can cripple a bank´s operation and bring it down to its knees.

Rushking said...

Don't panic or worry too much. If DBS in Hongkong agrees to compensate Minibond investors, I am optimistic DBS Spore will follow suit to compensate investors as well. Remember in HK, not too long ago, when DBS HK disposed safe deposit boxes accidentally they also compensate the HK cusomers quite generously?? So we can be sure DBS Spore will do something about the Minibonds because they will have to be consistet in their compensation efforts in both HK and Spore especially when Spore is the mother-country. Have faith and believe in DBS Spore !!
By: Rushking

Anonymous said...

I thought Sinkieland is going to have a "GOLDEN PERIOD"?

xiaojr said...

The only thing MAS did was to make statements that won't redress the situation. One action was to appoint independent parties to review marketing practices of financial institutions. Guess what, these independent parties are compensated by those who distributed the junk instruments to retail investors.

Dan said...

The heartlessness of some of our prominent citizens shocked me.

We are talking abt elderly pple who have saved all their lives, and are now wondering how they are going to survive the days ahead. But of cos our multi-million dollar ministers wont be able to empathise with them...

Its shocking to read of slick bank salespple who only cared for their commission and who will say anything to these old folks to get their money. "low-risk, capital-guaranteed!"
Conmen in nice suits with fancy titles? Maybe.

We all know where people with no compassion are headed to, once their time on Earth is up.
Our time on Earth is short, in comparison. Live life the right way.
Nothing else matters more than compassion and loving-kindness.
Some pple come to realize this too late, only when they are on their deathbeds. By then, it would be too late to reverse their heartless and selfish deeds.