Monday, September 29, 2008

Will MAS help the investors?

Hi Peter and Mr. Tan,
I appreciate your efforts to put all these in place so that we can start our discussion from hereon!
One important question is always on my mind, how far can we go to seek help from the relevant authorities? And what can they do or willing to do??

Firstly, I have contacted the FI (Hong Leong finance), basically they just say that actions have been taken and need to await the reply HSBC (the trustee). As HSBC has informed of the notice of occurrence of potential event of default. And given 15 days, should no payment been received from Minibonds Limited, the trustee will obtain valuations of the securities and determine the appropriate course of action.

I have also contacted MAS, thus they too asked me to file a complain to FI and should it not reach any resolution, then escalate to FIDREC. However, FIDREC has their own limitation too, that their jurisdiction in adjudicating disputes between banks/ finance companies and consumers is only up to $50,000! And the whole process would propably take more than 1~2 mths!

Basically, the FI also told me that these bonds-like products have been approved by MAS.

Which I told them that investors have been probably misled into purchasing these products. They are trying to tell me that it seems nothing can be done, as these products were already structured to protect the banks' interest from day 1!

So what can we do? I am not too sure what firm actions MAS are willing to take to help us, but so far, it seems in the media that they are only trying to speak to all FIs to expedite all investors queries properly and telling them not to mislead the investors thru' the marketing & advertising tools.

It seems that all these are going round & round in circles but not resulting in any firm course of action!

We, investors can speak up, but to what degree do we need to make our voices heard so that the authorities can decide what to do ?

The investors can sign the Petition that has been put up in my blog. The Petition call on the Signapore Government to investigate if there has been any wrong-doing by the financial institutions and to assist the investors in getting compensation.

Some investors have suggested a collective legal action. I shall try to organise it at a later stage, if it becomes necessary. At that time, the investors have to decide if they are willing to bear the cost of the legal action.

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