Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Complaint of mis-selling by bank

Re: Lehman's MiniBond Series 1 and 2.

1. I am note holder of Lehman's MiniBonds. I purchased these from your Bank through your Bank's Relationship Manager. Y. The details are as follows:

I was referred to Y when my time deposit at your bank matured. I have not heard of Lehman's MiniBond prior to that. Y explained that the MiniBond was a low risk investment giving a little higher yield than fixed deposits and arranged by Lehman Brothers, one of the most respected and AAA rated Investment Bank and that my investment would be invested into the 6 reference entities. These entities are well respected and rated AA and above. Only during the holding period of 5 ½ years to maturity, if anyone of these corporations goes into bankruptcy, then the notes will be terminated and sold. The risks are against such defaults and as we have to hold the notes to maturity, we will be compensated with a return higher than our normal practice of placing savings in time deposits of 2.5 to 3% for 6 months, at that time in early 2006.

There were no mention that our investments will be used to buy underlying portfolio of CDOs and Credit Default Swaps.

What we were told about MiniBonds, how it works and risks associated at time of purchase for Series 1 and 2 , were indeed very different than in reality.

2. For Series 1, I was not shown or given any prospectus. I was given a copy of the prospectus for Series 2 after signing up and payments made. The contents were too technical for any retail investor to understand. After Lehman's bankruptcy, and with explanation from your consultant Z some 2 weeks ago, I then finally realized the complexity and the risks.

3. I bought the MiniBonds based on the creditability of your Bank and that such Bonds were approved and registered through Monetary Authority of Singapore and that SRS accounts, an Government savings scheme designed to enhance savings to be used during retirement, could be used to purchase such notes. Your bank through your relationship manager, Y assured me that the MiniBonds was a low risk, secured investment giving a higher returns than interest for time deposit and that if I have no immediate need for such cash, MiniBond investment will be more suitable.

4. Now that with Lehman Brothers declaring bankrupt, it has created a credit event and with the numerous media coverage, and a face to face discussion held 2 weeks ago with your Relationship Manager and Investment Consultant, I finally realized that the operations of such notes and risks associated were very different from what was told to me previously.

5. It was absolute misrepresentation on the nature of these MiniBonds, its operations and risks which investors have to assume. Had I known that the moneys were not invested in the 6 referenced entities but instead in a portfolio of hundreds of underlying CDOs with high risks of failure, I would never sink in a dollar. Just look at my risks profile. I hardly invest in equities in Singapore Stock Exchange, even for blue chip stocks. I did not participate in any hedge fund or use private bankers to invest my extra cash. I put my surplus cash in time deposit with Singapore Banks and subscribe to SRS and annuities to provide for my retirement.

6. With the crash of financial system and liquidation of MiniBonds Series 1 and 2, I expect to incur substantial losses, being the difference paid for the notes and the net realizable value on redemption. I would like to know how your Bank proposes to compensate me with such substantial losses. Misrepresentation of information about the nature, process and risks of such investment from your organization will cause me potentially huge financial losses. I am not a risk taker nor have greed for higher returns with risky investment. Additionally, your Bank has not exercised proper diligence in your fiduciary responsibility to look after the interest of your customers who have trusted you to handle their hard earned savings for retirement.

7. I look forward to favorable response.


Anonymous said...

just a correction of terminology used. Lehman's bankruptcy does not constitute a "credit event" because Lehman was not a Reference Entity in Minibond Series 1 & 2. Failure to pay interest when due (e.g. series 5 & 6) triggers a potential event of default, which in turn triggers early redemption of the notes.

Anonymous said...

As the FIs are just the salesman of credit linked securities, what can we do to the salesmen if a product is rotten. For example, if the tv that we buy from Courts is broken down, we go to the manufacturer and not the retailer. Shouldn't we file a suit against Lehman Brothers so that its assets can be frozen and then be sold to recover money for the investors? Do we know how many assets does Lehman Brothers have in Singapore?

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