16 Oct 2008
South China Morning Post
The chief executive appears to be losing his patience with banks over their handling of minibonds linked to bankrupt US bank Lehman Brothers – insisting they respond swiftly to a government buy-back proposal and warning the administration may fund legal action by minibond investors.
“They cannot keep dragging on,” he said in a strongly worded message after delivering his policy address.
He said investors had waited for weeks and the Monetary Authority had found evidence of mis-selling by some banks.
“Considering this situation, I am now requiring that banks reply this week,” he said.
Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah announced the proposal on Monday last week, and said banks had a week to respond.
His proposal is that banks which sold the minibonds buy them back at their current value.
Investors bought HK$12.7 billion of minibonds issued or guaranteed by Lehman Brothers. They face losing much or all of their investment. Many claim that banks and brokers mis-sold them as low-risk. In fact, minibonds are high- risk creditlinked derivatives.
A further HK$3 billion has been invested in similar, equity-linked Lehman derivatives.
Several banks have responded positively to the proposal, but none of the 16 banks that sold minibonds have publicly agreed to a buy-back. Many banks say they cannot respond until they have a valuation. A taskforce set up under the Hong Kong Association of Banks will assess the minibonds’ current value.
The Monetary Authority has received more than 9,200 complaints about the sale of complex derivatives. Mr Tsang said it would set up an independent panel to mediate with banks in cases where it finds evidence of mis-selling.
If mediation fails, the Consumer Council will help complainants apply to its consumer legal action fund, which provides help for joint lawsuits. Mr Tsang promised the government would inject money into the fund if necessary.
“It’s a positive step,” said one man who bought HK$10 million in minibonds. He would welcome a buyback as long as it left him free to pursue his bank for the rest of his money.
Mr Tsang also ordered the banks to communicate with the complainants yesterday.
One bank, DBS, has agreed to buy back similar complex derivatives once it has valued them. Citibank has agreed to full refunds if its inquiries prove mis-selling by any of its agents.
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10/12 - 10/19
- Breach of the law - arguments
- Speech at Speaker's Corner - 11 Oct 2008
- Fall outside "vulnerable investors"
- Statutory declaration - Glenn Knight
- Lost the sense of bonding and togetherness
- Today: Man with a Mission
- TV news on MAS conference
- Investor meets HSBC Trustee
- Prompt reply to help "lost" investors
- Interview with Zaobao
- Interview with Today Paper
- MAS Media Release on Structured Products
- Meeting at Speaker's Corner 18 Oct, 6-7 pm
- Ray of light and hope
- Act with honour and integrity
- HKMA refers Lehman cases to regulator
- Dow Jones: Hong Kong banks will buy back mini-bond...
- Appeal to Financial Institutions - settle through ...
- A new financial system - back to the safe old days...
- Ponzi Scheme
- Caring and responsible country
- Petition to MAS - review sales training and market...
- HK: Tsang vows to get justice for minibonds invest...
- Petition to investigate the sales training
- Who let the sharks in?
- Fearful about speaking
- MAS International Advisory Panel (IAP)
- Impact of an offer to settle
- Hong Kong Chief Talks Tough on Minibonds - Bravo
- Request for MAS to give an update on the Petition
- Statement by DBS CEO
- Negotiate with financial institutions
- Hong Kong: Minibond fix may prove a risky business...
- New "petition" to collect particulars of investors...
- Jubilee Series 3 LinkEarner Notes
- Facilities at Speaker's Corner
- Strategy Committee for CLS
- Statutory declaration - 2 lawyers
- Statutory declaration - FiDREC
- Take collective legal action now?
- To the victims - be strong
- Caveat emptor: A licence to cheat
- Individual advice
- Specific product or distributor
- Effort to help the victims
- Meeting of High Notes investors
- The Online Citizen
- Ignorance and greed
- Protest outside DBS headquarters
- Leveraging and greed
- DBS will take responsibility, in some cases
- DBS to settle case by case: Rebecca Lee
- Look at the Product Advice
- Sales representatives did not know - misrepresenta...
- Hong Kong Lawmakers Criticize Bks Over Lehman-Back...
- FAQ from investors (1)
- Concern about disorderly behaviour
- Sales representatives should tell the truth and ad...
- HK legislators criticize regulators over bonds
- Credit linked securities were highly risky, even i...
- Low cost investment funds
- Elected President of Singapore
- Hit by Forex Losses
- Dual Currency Deposit (DCD)
- Weekly Speeches at Speaker's Corner
- Tan Kin Lian's speech at Speaker's Corner
- Minibond invetors are not risk takers
- Big loss on dual currency investment
- Forex or dual currency transactions
- SCMP: Banks risked reputations, watchdog says
- Nadya "Speaker" Zagarodnova
- Send this message to your Member of Parliament
- Weekly meetings at Hong Lim Green?
- Why the credit linked notes are highly risky
- Speaker's Corner - 11 October 2008
- Panic of AIA policyholders
- New blog for investors of Credit Linked Securities...
- STI Exchange Traded Fund
- Investing in difficult times
- Speech at Speaker's Corner: 11 Oct 2008
- Channel News Asia - report on Speaker's Corner
- Hong Kong: DBS first bank to repay bonds
- UOB Structured Notes
- Structured products are not sold in the UK
- Blogs for investors
- Volunteers to lead groups of investors
- Fight for the weak
- You have to take the risk and bear the loss
- Upset investors turn up at Speakers' Corner
- Greedy for profits
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