"But many went in with their eyes open. They're not old or uneducated. Now they are saying 'please include me too'. Well...we've got to go according to what's fair. "
- MM Lee 8 Nov 2008..
"Sir, you just gave the banks the license to systematically deny all claims of those who are young or educated" - Lucky Tan.
"MM Lee added that if the authorities had handled the matter according to the law the cases would be 'closed'" - Straits Times 10 Nov 2008..
"Sir, since when mis-selling became legal in Singapore?" - Lucky Tan
In today's Straits Times article "Lehman Investors 'aware of risks'", MM Lee said that many who went into thses products did it with their eyes open. I wonder how he knows that - did the investors tell him that? Did he read the brochure/prospectus himself and found it easy to understand? What ever it is he knows, he has clearly expressed his belief most investors should accept their losses, keep their mouths shut and stop demanding the govt do more for them. To those who lost their hardearned money...you guys were not expecting sympathy from him were you?
I would like to respond to his point that "if the matter was handled under the law, the cases would be closed". The banks have legally covered themselves by asking their customers to sign all sorts of disclaimers and piles of clauses that ensures they are able to fight you individually in court when the need arises. The poor bank customer won't have a lawyer with him usually signs the forms because he trusts the bank. In all the mis-selling cases[Link][Link] presecuted in the US or Britain you can be sure the customers too signed various forms. It is the regulator or AG that finds other types of evidence that prove mis-selling on the part of the companies involved to make it possible for customers to recover their funds. In Singapore's case, the govt has opted for a "case-by-case" approach and there are no direct investigations conducted on the banks. When MM Lee says these cases would be closed if laws are applied, that is because the govt does not proactively investigate the banks for mis-selling. This is difference in approach between the HK govt and the Singapore govt. You can judge for yourself when way leads to greater fairness and justice.
There is a also class action case in US against UBS for the mis-selling of minibonds. I can't imagine the situation in which most investors elsewhere get their money and those in Singapore are told "case closed".