Dear Mr Tan,
My mother and I are joint account holders for minibond series 2 from ABN AMRO. My mum is 68 years old, attended only a few years of schooling, does not read or write English, stayed in a 4 room HDB flat that is more than 25 years old, and has been a frugal housewife all her life. Two years old, my mother's fixed deposit of S$170,000 matured and she put the entire amount of her hard-earned savings into the minibond series 2, thinking that she was investing in a safe bond as explained by the RM.
My mother clearly falls into the vulnerable investor group as described by MAS, and such risky product should never have been recommended to her. In fact, the RM did not even carry out a Financial Needs Analysis on my mother. When I asked for her profile report, the bank replied that they only need to do one profile. I told them that it is ridiculous for a bank and a gross negligent on the bank's part to assume that my risk profile and my mother's risk profile are the same.
This morning I just received a call from ABN AMRO that there will be no compensation for our minibond investment. I was so shocked to hear that since local FIs are already making the right steps to compensate the vulnerable investors. My mother was clearly a vulnerable investor sold on a product totally not suitable for her. The bank officer on the phone could not give a reason why there was no compensation, but only to say that the decision was made by a committee. After demanding to meet the committee, the officer came back to say that the bank will review the case again and get back to me.
I would like to caution other investors that some banks will try to get away with the compensation if they can. Do not give up, fight for what is rightfully ours.
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