Friday, October 17, 2008

Petition to investigate the sales training

A financial institution has announced that they will compensate investors who can prove that they have been "mis-sold".

This Petition is to ask MAS to investigate the sales training process of the financial institutions. If the training materials did not show the actual nature and risks of the products, it will show that the sales representatives had provided the wrong information or recommendation to the retail investors, i.e. misrepresentation or mis-selling.

Please read the wordings of this petition carefully. If you agree with the content, you can sign the Petition.


Anonymous said...

Mr. Tan,
Is there any point to start another petition? If MAS does not respond to the first one which also cover the issue raised in the second petition, they will also not respond to the second one.

Anonymous said...

Not only that the product training should be intensive and exhaustive, more importantly the salespeople MUST be told or taught
to comply with Section 27 of the FAA.
Section 27 is the key to ethical selling because it is the best practice approach to meet the needs of the consumers , opposite of product selling. ISO International adopts this APPROACH
MAS must remove the 'product advice' option from the KYC otherwise consultants and agents will continue to find escape in this option to the detriment of the consumers.Need based selling must be made COMPULSORY.Product selling and pushing must be outlawed.
Mr. Tan, the petition must point out the dangers of product selling.
Investing or risk management is not buying something at pasar malam to fix your concerns. Product selling is caveat emptor and is unfair and dangerous as an approach practice to consumers.

Tan Kin Lian said...

Reply to 9.47 AM

My reply is "yes". We should sign a second Petition to MAS on the sales training.

Let us see how many investors agree with me, and sign the second petition.

A total of 46 people have signed in within 2 hours.

Anonymous said...

Bravo Mr Tan, there should be some evidence found in the training materials. To guard against "manipulated/revised" edition of the materials, the MAS should also get computer expert to recover "deleted" files. It is also advisable for MAS to interview past/present RM's

Anonymous said...

I doubt MAS will react to this petition because they are part of this game.

Anonymous said...

Just look at the poor aunty in today's Straits Times ( 16 Oct 2008 ), she lost 100K of her blood money saved up from her business of running a provision shop

just look at her , I bet she don't even know exactly the risks were when she bought it ..really 'chek ark' ( hokkien for 'heartless' ) to take the elderly people money like that !!! :(

Anonymous said...

People who had gone to the bank can state that they were misleaded by the FA . But how about those who read the misleaded brochures (thinking that it was actually mini-sized bonds)& i was not ready to take any high risk . I bought it throught my brokers. Is there any recourse for me & should i also sign the new petition ???

Anonymous said...

Yes, I too bought the minibond via advertisement! Do we have a chance?

Anonymous said...

I suppose it is the FA's duty be it by the Act or Moral to provide the right advice to the suitable people for them to decide whether or not they should take up this highly technical and complex structured product. Jusr could not imagine that MAS permit this product to be sold to the general public. We need to read two books with all the technical jargon - The Base Prospectus and the Pricing Statement - in order to understand what is the product all about. The fact that when U call the FI's hotline that the respondents could not answer some or even all of your question.
In short, MAS should not permit the FIs to sell these product as most of or all of the investor till today still not sure what they are buying.

Anonymous said...

Mr Tan,

What would be your advice to someone who had bought the minibonds through their stock broker, replying on the fact that the minibonds were safe investments after having bought similar minibonds previously from a bank.

zhummmeng said...

Those who bought in response to the ad is called DIY or self medication. The RMs will assume that you have knowledge and that you knew waht you were doing.But that doesn't mean that the RMs are free from blame .They are still liable for the bad outcome because they have not conducted due diligence and care to ascertain that the product was right for you.
To protect themselves they can decline the sale. But...salespeople don't because of the commsiison and greed.
Imagine visiting a doctor and you tell the doctor that you want heart problem medication drug. An ethical doctor will not sell it to you without an examination.If you insist on buying without examination the ethical doctor will discharge himself.
But in the case of financial products an unethical RMs or insurance agent will sell to you . Right? I am sure many of you have done and expereinced this. Instead of allowing the adviser to examine you, you would insist that product you WANT. Unethical agents would sell whatever you want and even the product may not be the right one and even if it is correct one it may NOT be in the right dose.
As far as this consumers too must understand that their cooperation is required if they want the best deal.Don't try to be too smart. The product might have been recommended by your auntie but your auntie isn't an expert in this field. Leave it to professional.Provide a lot of relevant info for the advisers to analyse will reduce the chance of a bad outcome.
The law is meant to protect both parties to the transaction and if one party errs the other will suffer.

Anonymous said...

There is negliglence on the part of the FI if no monthly statement with the closing quote for the month has been sent to the investors.

All lot of investors could have sold it when it went below $1 because the FI is guaranteeing that all investors will get back at $1 on maturity.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr Tan,
As we move along, we noticed there are many who have not written to the FIs. They are either illiterate or their children are overseas and there are no one to help them write. HOW TO REACH OUT TO THESE POOR FOLKS?

Anonymous said...

I think there are lesser on-line petitions from victimised investors because most of them either:
Busy working;
Do not have computers;
Not computer savvy;
Know little English;
Do not know the existence of Mr Tan's blog;
Kiasi or just sitting on the fence.

Anonymous said...

Why worry whether MAS will respond to this 2nd pettition or not? It is all the more important that the small investors must take proactive measure to make our voice heard. You think the HK govt would respond if not for the furious protest by the investors. Of course we are not suggesting unruling protest but we must try again and again to make them listen. The whole world is watching how we handle this matter.

Anonymous said...

The top ten evils of Product selling and pushing.
3.conflict of interest
4.cheating by the agents agents manipulate the selling process agents lie
7.Consumers don't get the right product in the right amount
8. insurance agents overpaid
9.consumers lose agents qualify for MDRT, cot and TOT for being the top 5% most cruel and ruthless dupers and cheats in the world.

author unknown

Anonymous said...

Hi there are many elderly non-English literate old folks who have suffered the loss and are now struggling on what they should do at this moment. They are not internet savy and has no access to the blogs. They are relying on the information from the TV news and chinese newspapers to see how anything can be done for them. An elderly lady approached me and I would like to ask on her behalf if there a group out there for those who bought Minbonds from Hong Leong Finance. I am contactable at Looking forward to any replies so that I can help to get some support for this elderly lady. Thanks

Anonymous said...

insurance agents still ok.bec the commission is recurring, they are afraid consumers do not want commit and cancel the policy. For bankers like dbs,posb,OCBC different..the rich bankers got high one time commission..usually they highlight pros not the cons..and they always slander insurance agents..saying a lot bad things about them.And if you notice,they will ask you pay annual mode 1st,not monthly..they are commission-driven,not consumer-welfare driven..they want suck suck suck..and they do needs analysis in those uncle and aunties..To those victims out there who don't understand English if not i believe most of you already can start writing here..I hope I can of some help to you all..voice yr anguish,yr frustration..

Anonymous said...

Mr Tan,

Could you help to gather the people who wants to file a class action suit against the banks?

I heard the more people the better.

Anonymous said...

...Those who bought in response to the ad is called DIY or self medication. The RMs will assume that you have knowledge and that you knew waht you were doing....When the investor presented the "ad" or rather the Leaflet to the RM, by Act or Moral duty, the RM should assess whether or not the investor is suitable for the subject product. The RM will not and has never asked the investor if he/she understand the product described as "Secured Credit-linked Notes" is what he/she intended to buy and he/she would need to read the Prospetus and the pricing statement to comprehend the product so that he/she would not think that the product is what is as safe as fixed deposit with the bank. Attempting to apprehend the definition of "secured credit-linked note", how many investors know that what product it is. The general public is ready for this product and MAS should not permit it to be sold to the general public via FIs. How can one imagin that his/her hard earn money is only placed in one CDOs basket with nothing but risk.

Anonymous said...

hi guys:

In my view, you have a right to ask for compensation however you bought minibonds. The information sheet (advisory) of minibonds highlighted the reference entities and even showed the bond ratings of these entities. there was obviously an attempt to create the impression that this is bonds of the seven entities. It is an attempt to hide from investors the true nature of the product. It is truly despicable. given the malice to cheat you out of your money, you have a right to sue however you bought it.

gushen said...

Mr Tan,
I hoped,if we managed to reached a settlement, that it applies to everyone, not just to those who sign the petition.

I noticed that only a certain percentage of investors have sign the petition.

What happen to the rest ?

Is there some old uneducated illiterate cleaner auntie out there who lost her life savings but are resigned to her fate ?

Its very possible that many people don't even know that there's a petition going on.

I am worried that these people will be left out. To some of these people 5-8K could be their life savings.
These are the people who are hardest hit and may be suffering in silence.

Anyways, even though i am not an investor in these notes, i appreciate what you are doing.

Anonymous said...

How shall I describe it?

Be it Structured Bond or Secured Credit-linked Notes or the like, the general public is not ready to invest in it as it is never a 'secured investment' or 'low risk investment" and more it is not for the elderly at all. MAS should not permit the FIs to sell this product to the general public as the investors in general are not ready for it.
The 'ad' or the leaflet highlighted the product's exposure to reference entities but the FIs could not make the investors understand the risk involved and the consequence is the loss of the lifttime saving of many investors in the case of Lehman, ML & DBS HN products. As regards product such as Pinnacle series the investors are now holding a time bomb as Lehman Br, Fennie Mae, Freddie Mac, AIG and Washington Mutual are in its CDOs basket. As far as I know that in the event of a total of 9 or 10 CDS were to default, a credit event will trigger the termination of the Notes whereby the underlying assets will be sold and distributed back to the investors. With the current credit market situation, more people will suffer.
It is time for MAS to do something. Other than working out a way for the Pinnacle Notes or the like not to follow the Lehman Br step, the product shall be banned from selling to the general public with immediate effect.

Anonymous said...

Let face it, if we the investors can get back 30% of the valve no matter what the outcome of the case. We should be happy. The money are already lost.

Anonymous said...

The RMs represents the FIs. Thus, any misrepresentation, mis-selling or negligence is by the RIs and they should be accountable for them. The RMs are trained by the RIs.

The RIs must admit that they made the mistake without knowing the high risk and should not push it to the RMs publicly.

Anonymous said...

I fully agree with the second petition and thank Mr Tan again for doing this. We must keep th momentum going regardless whether MAS reply or not. I know there are many elderlies who cannot be in this loop. Their children must explain this petition to them and help them sign. I do it for my mum.

Even if they cannot reach this blog, we who can must press on so that we can also indirectly help them when we get positive outcome.


Anonymous said...

Dear Mr.Tan
All these while , u have been focusing in helping those people who had gone to the bank & got "Cheated" off by the FA. But i'm sure there is any group of victims whom do not fall into this category . We too lost a big part of our savings due the the misleading informations on the brochures. We too are not greedy and certainly do not have high risk appetite. The word "Minibond" and the so called Reference Entitties were so misleading that we went forward to put in the $$. What's ur view on our case ??

symmetrix said...

I agree with some posters that regardless of how you bought the product (by mailing in or by visiting the bank), the issue is the same. The product info is grossly inadequate and misleading. All the risks were not made known to the investor.

Anonymous said...

To those who bought through brokers or online, you can certainly file your complaint as misrepresentation is not only due to incorrect information provided, it also cover seller not disclosing important information. It can be from what the sale person said, it can also be from brochure, advertisement and other non verbal source that they used to market the product.

Anonymous said...

one additional item that I think should be added into the petition.

To check that the risk analysis report design is done to properly reflect the risk appetite as well as the risk desire of investors.

Why ? Going through one of the report I believe it is designed such that some of the choices are vague and RM can easily manouevre to suit the product they are pitching during that time.


Anonymous said...

I think this petition is extremely important as it hits right at the root of the problem.
It goes beyond the immediate aim of reclaiming the investment loss but more importantly it seeks to improve the way the finance industry operates and conducts it's business.
I believe MAS will act on this.

Anonymous said...

I think we also need to petition for :

1. The bank must immediately self abstain in selling any structure investment products or MAS to ban the selling until the investigation of the misrepresentation is completed.

2. Self abstain or ban buddling of the Fixed Deposit promotion rate with any other financial products.

3. Self abstain or ban the RM from watching behind the bank teller for customer's account balance or amount withdraw.

4. Self abstain or ban the bank teller from promoting other financial products because they are not trained on the products and financial planning.

5. establish similar system like PSB and LTA to approve electrical appliance and vehicle before they can be put on sales. The financial products should be evaluated based on the risk and security level as a minimum. The down side of the product must be printed on the brochure with larger font and in RED colour. Implement recall system like the vehicle recall system should the security rating falls below certain level set by MAS.

Anonymous said...

View from DBS RM:
"Human Behaviour"
I'm referring to adults who are abled-minded and abled-bodied, educated, and went into an investment with a clear mind, and fully aware of what they invest into. (So please, do not come and tell me about aunties and uncles, because we are talking about sophisticated investors here. This is my group of clienteles. It is not fair for me to comment on other groups of investors in this blog entry because I no longer deal with them now.)

I'm different from many of you. Because I am trained in Psychology and a certified counsellor although I do not practise anymore. It is in me to make sense of a person's emotions through his or her behaviour and is able to pick up tiny signals many untrained eyes are unable to. Perhaps this is why my thinking is different from many people I know in the same industry in banking.

This whole credit crunch saga not only caused much pain and losses to everyone, it also opens up my eyes to human behaviour.

On just how irresponsible man can be.

When investments make money, they feel it's a given: "You are the expert what! You should know EVERYTHING!"

Ai yoh, if I know everything, I would not be here working for a bank, silly!

When investments fail, they scold you: "You didn't tell me this that day! I misplaced the prospectus/termsheet/whatever so therefore I am not responsible!"

You were the one who called and asked me what to invest since market is so good now, and now when things fail, you turn your back and put all the blame on me. I did tell every customer the same thing over again, there is no reason why I would specially leave you out. I followed the procedure and gave you the official documents to read before you made the decision. And you told me too, that you think the failure of these companies are remote!

I'm lucky not all my customers are like that. Maybe because whenever we revisit the investments, I reiterate to them all the key pointers. We discuss on the pros and cons of an investment together as a 'customer' of the bank. I look at every investment objectively and agree with my customer whenever I think some structures aren't really that good after all.
I play the role of 'middleman' between the bank and the customer. I constantly think for my customers as I would for myself, and keeps balancing this with the needs of the bank to make money to ensure my salary and my commission.

And that's why I am not a super achiever as an RM. I am only a mediocre. I am lucky my bosses recognize my work besides just sales (otherwise I would not be a VP today). And I'm lucky (and sometimes I think my customers are lucky to have me too because I don't push at the expense of them to line my pockets with money) that I have good reasonable customers.

I believe a lot depends on how you want your customers to treat you. Over the years in my dealings with my customers, I make sure they fail in their attempts to push responsibilities to me. When they say "you never tell me", I stand firm and reply I repeat everything verbatim to all the customers, in the same way. Most of the time, they do not argue, because they know they were trying to test their grounds.

After all, we are all adults. If we are not responsible in our actions, who are we to teach our descendants?

I strongly believe in mutual respect in every relationship. Whether it's a customer-banker relationship, or a husband-wife relationship, mutual respect is one very important element. When either one takes control over the relationship, it usually doesn't last long. Customers either climb over your head and shit, or the RM exploits the relationship and ruins the portfolio.

And I treat every customer differently, dependent on their character (and not by the size of their account with me). Perhaps banks can consider training RMs on understanding personality before putting them out to manage customers from all walks of life.

Anonymous said...

I bought my minibond series 1 on-line through Phillip Securities. I complain to MAS which forward my complain to Phillip Securities. Phillip Securities have replied that they will give me an answer by 3/10/08 or if their investigation is not completed by then, they will keep me updated.

Anonymous said...

No one is blaming the RMs who are ethical.

The question I would like to ask you is: did you ask your parents to buy those structured products eg minibond. A product that offered low return and very high risk. I hope you are honest to yourself.

Anonymous said...

To the RM from DBS.
I want to ask you whether you are selling the high note 5 also and know that the 8 entities, though look as diversify, but is actually tied the risk together, meaning if one fail, all monies gone, do you know that, are you trained in that ?? I did mentioned this to the DBS RM who sold me the high notes 5 that although there is risk (she told me that there is some risk related to this investment). I mentioned that since it is diversify, the collapse of 1 entity would only cause me 12.5%. She keep quiet on that. Is she trying to cheat me or she herself agree with me ?? I always believe the saying of not putting all the monies in one basket, so I prefer diversification. But the high notes is worst than that, worst than putting all monies in one basket. High note put the monies in 8 different baskets and the baskets are arranged such that if one collapse, all will collapse. It is fair to present this type of product as diversify ????

Anonymous said...

This petition is only for those who bought through Financial advisers. I think there is a significant number out there who bought on the basis of the marketing material which did not clearly explain the underlying risk of the products. The other issue is the mis-leading informaiton on the marketing material. For the Jubilee series 3, it's stated ' credit-linked to 5 world-renowned banks'. Now only 1 is down and 4 still standing, and yet all your money is gone. Was this explained to the public????

Anonymous said...

View from DBS RM,
Have you ever asked yourself why there was no fuss when other structured product tank but so much fuss when products like Minibond tank? The difference is in the Minibond case, customers were lied to. Why did so many thousand people in different countries including Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore all simultaneously make a fuss? Could it be a coincidence or maybe, just maybe, there is some truth in the claims of all these people. Can you see it? Every thought of that?

Anonymous said...

Petition needs to include those who bought based on the misleading marketing materials. By putting that the product is linked to '5 renowned banks' (for Jubilee notes) and not spelling out that any 1 default can result in zero payout, that is grossly misleading.

vertigoer said...

I did not invest but want to join the petition as I feel infuriated.

Auntie, uncles lost their life blood savings. No matter how the banks financial advisor tell auntie, uncle, they sure can't understand. Even risk of 100% lost is hidden as "credit event".

This is a clear violation of humanity.

Anonymous said...

come on guys, how can you insist that the distributors compensate for the risks taken by individual it fair to their shareholders?

How many of those investors who bought into Lehman notes seriously don't aware that there is a risk involved, no matter how remote it was at time?

When we say "misleading", it means the salesperson had made those investors think there was absolutely NO risk when buying such products. Everythng else in between is subjective grey area that will be difficult to prove.


Anonymous said...

Haiz...why singapore banks become the state?GREED!! LOVE OF MONEY!! Money is the root of wonder people saying banking:GOOD prospects..but Keep thinking of money-->obsession-->mis-sell=cheat aunties & uncles of their hardearned life savings-->bringing tears to them-->may even cause them to be in debts and commit suicide..Where is the world headin to??I've been all around the world,1st time i see such things happening in the world!Suddenly upon the judiciary hearings tt 3 men,one of which is soo young,only 20!that they will have legal action against them.I suddenly feel fearful of living in singapore.I used to be pro-singapore and proud to live here.but after my encounter with the selfish and defensive bank staff,how they react instead of self-reflection they blame us investors, high costs of living,I suddenly wish I can migrate.I am starting to hate singapore.=( sigh~

Anonymous said...

Why salesperson more daring and starts selling without honestly and integrity? Its the management who tolerate and close an eye..They only care about sales sales sales..that's why as long the salesman got sales,the management sayang their buttocks and say good good good..

Anonymous said...

the govt seems faster responding to the fear that foreigners $$$ fly to HK than protecting Singaporean's money. Look at how fast they responded to HK's move to guarantee deposits.. i am disgusted.. foreign people money more impt than Singaporeans.

Anonymous said...

sigh..really?? Our welfare really not taken care of? I am very sad when bad things like crisis happen, you really know who cares for you and who don't..Its like when trouble strikes, you realise who are really your friends..I do not even have a sense of belonging now..Only disgust and contempt..

Anonymous said...

Of course foreign people money are more important because the amount is very huge compared to our folks' money. So of course gahmen must act fast. Maybe our folks' money lost is just loose change out of the total. No impact economically or even politically.

Anonymous said...

no lo..our folks money is huge..250,000 is very little ah? Bec banks got govt banking, and banks got capability to earn more than old and "useless" folks..that is why the govt only sides banks..

Anonymous said...

I didn't sell minibonds, HN and nothing involves Lehman but customers still come to yell at me/us for weeks, claimed that we cheated them by putting their monies in other Structured Notes and we told them it's fixed deposit! How can people be so irresponsible and twisted the whole stories when one of the structured notes in market has defaulted. We have never sold those structured products as fixed deposit, NEVER! The procedures and process of placing fixed deposits and putting in structured notes are so different! How can customers now claimed that they thought it's FD! Placement in structured notes needs at least 4-5 signatures, for FD only 1 or 2 signatures and you will get FD advice after placement.

Now some customers threatened us they want to commit suicide if the bank don't unwind their structured notes at no cost!

My life has been hell because of all these nonsense. I regretted not putting all these customers' monies into Unit Trust which would have earned me 4x higher commission!

Anonymous said...

I got a feeling that if the number of signatures is at least few thousand, MAS will do something. now only 270, I'm afraid MAS thinks its just a small "army" of ants complaining..

I hope more people who want future generation to be protected and not mis-led sign this petition.This is a rare chance! Once this opportunity is lost,the banks will get complacent and continue their current dealing.Then don't cry if your children/mother gets "cheated".We merely want banks to be more transparent. I am not an investor, but I believe in honestly, ethics.I want peace in country,not riots. Once again, lets unite to prevent such incidents again.

Anonymous said...

11.47PM, what you say is happening at ntuc Income..sales and nothing but sales. How you get the sales is not important and the management don't want to know also. The top 50 salesmen are women and if you hear from insiders the story about these women you will be shocked. They stoop to anything, from lying to packaging toxic products and misrepresentation.One thing admirable about them is they are brave to say anyhting without batting an eyelid.Their presentation at roadshows if it given to mAS sure kenna banned.
Anyway i heard some disgruntled customers who realised the rotten products they bought and they are lodging with mas. A few already kenna and it is harshed up by management.

Anonymous said...

I didn't sell minobonds, HN and nothing involves Lehman but customers still come to yell at me/us for weeks, claimed that we cheated them by putting their monies in other Structured Notes and we told them it's fixed deposit! How can people be so irresponsible and twisted the whole stories when one of the structured notes in the market have defaulted. We have never sold those structured products as fixed deposit, NEVER! The procedures and process of placing fixed deposits and putting in structured notes are so different! How can customers now claimed that they thought it's FD! For structured notes, at least 4-5 signatures are needed. For FD placement only 1 or 2 signatures and you'll get fixed deposit advice after placement.

Now some customers threatened us they want to commit suicide if the bank don't unwind their structured notes at no cost! How ridiculous!!

My life has been hell because of all these nonsense. I regretted not putting all these customers' monies into Unit Trust which would have earned me 4x higher commission! They have never appreciate us.

Anonymous said...

SAD SAD SAD for singaporean..... See how DBS reacted so promptly to HK case unlike the way they handled in Sgp for their own fellow citizens even though they are facing the same problem. Same applies to MAS if you see how HK Money Authorities addressing the issue to the banks/financial institution for their people there.
May be that is the reason why people often label singaporean 'kiasi'; frighten off by the aggressive Hong Kong's people protest but too afraid to stand up for the right of her fellow Singapore citizens. Shame!! Deeply disappointed....disappointed!...

Anonymous said...

Mis-sold...mis-represented! Why am I not even suprised. ~shaking head~

Tan Kin Lian said...

I have extracted the particulars of 273 signatories. I will be sending the Petition to MAS today.

It does not matter that other people did not sign yet. The number of signatories is more than sufficient.

If MAS acts and carries out the review, and found that the bank has not provided sufficient training to the sales representatives, it will be helpful to the investors who have been misled.

Investors who bought directly from the brochures or advertisements, can claim that the sales materials were misleading, and that essential information have been withheld, or were presented in a misleading way. Your case is not as strong as those who were misled by the sales representatives, but there are grounds to support your case as well.

All the best!

Anonymous said...

In HK, its even more drama. Apparently, the investment counsellors even targeted mentally retarded ppl to buy structured notes, and then say caveat emptor.

Anonymous said...

it is no surprise what salespeople would do. You have seen one posting about ntuc agent selling revosave to an old man but not retarded.Who knows who esle they sold to, paraplegic, hearing impaired and semi blind, these are possible candidates becuase the agents have no desire to help but to rob for themselves. Their full page newspaper ad now hints that foreign companies are not safe.Isn't this stooping and desperate means to exploit the miseries of others?

Anonymous said...

oei to u all bankers there,pls STOP tarnishing ntuc income image ok?(I'm not insurance agent ok,i'm a teacher)For me,I thinks banks when compared to private insurance agents,banks get consumers hooked MORE readily because they got the impression of omnipotentness, greatness, security and so on. insurance agents on the other hand, find it much harder to find customers. And personally I think banks have betrayed consumers' trust, like a wolf in a sheep clothing..ALL of us mostly avoid insurance agents,but bankers?They seems classy,very educated..but in fact they are a packet of wolves..

Anonymous said...

Let face it, if we the investors can get back 30% of the value no matter what the outcome of the case. We should be happy. The money was pocketed by Lehman Brothers. You make noise at DBS also no use.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr RM (or Miss RM),

You are wrong to say only Minibond, High Notes, Jubilee tanked. IMO, ALL structured products tanked (cos they never lived up to what they promised), and so they went under the radar. But it is Mnibond, High Notes and Jubilee which EXPLODED so spectacularly..

You still think structured products are such a good deal for the consumers? I reckon anyoone with a half-decent financial training would AVOID such toxic products.

I once showed a bunch of CFA Charterholders the sales brochure for a structured product. NONE of them dared give me a recommendation. Why? They say its too vague, too untransparent. Many important (but inconvenient) terms were DELIBERATELY omitted from the sales brochure. Not enough information..

On the other hand, surprise, surprise, so many old, illiterate, retired, mentally retarded ppl, junior bank tellers, found it so so simple to understand these structured products sales brochures.

It is probably b'cos of such unscrupulous manipulation that Mr. Tan Kim Lian (himself a trained acturist, the most rigorous and exclusive of the financial disciplines) has come out so strongly against structured products. He reccognizes that it is no accident, no honest mistake... FIs should have known better.

It is doubly unfortuante that the structured products victims are mainly old, illiterate, poor, mentally retarded. It almost appears that FIs had deliberately targeted them as a group. On the other hand, FIs didn't dare to market structured products to the rich, well-connected, high networth private banking customers.

You boast that your boss recognizes your "analytical work". So how come after your analytical work, you decided to recommmend structured products to unsuitable people. Me thinks he treasures your psychology training as a tool to psycho customers to buy structured products, and psycho colleagues and junior staff to continue to push structured products sales.. He himself is probably also lacking either knowledge or ethics.

You also boast that you are a bank VP. I think bank management nowadays would do anything to earn extra profit.. They would give a pretty boy with little substance a grand, sophisticated title so that he can appear on TV to push bank products.

Anonymous said...

I agree with alot of comments and can understd the anger more than most of the contributors here.

In my 4 yrs in the banking industry, there'r 3 distinct types of RMs/PBs I have came to identify :

1) The 'Elite'

these are usually the top bankers and management's pets. They sell on relationships and their customers would not bother go Hong Lim over a $100K loss. They will not be bothered to sign the petition too, and that is if they can even remember they have a minibond chucked somewhere. This group of bankers will survive this debacle

2) The 'Missionary'

This group of bankers are dangerous but not the most dangerous. They are good ppl, and believe they are sent by God to educate the world on their finances and speak with real conviction the dire consequences of not heeding their 'educated advice' on how critical it is to stop rolling your FDs and allocate the $ into more effective portfolios. They are ethical and humane.
All they need is an ethical and humane bank and they'll thrive, but the problem is in finding it.

3) The Predator

This is the most dangerous group of the 3. Animalistic by definition, always on the prowl for a prey with the least resistance. Only the fittest survives, that is the rule of nature. Blame it on your greed, and your stupidity. That's how humans has evolved and you are eliminated. Thank you for contributing to human evolution, u signed on that dotted line didn't u?

Most bankers start off in Group 2. When they awake from their big fat dream at some point (how long will depend on individual intelligence), some will progress to Group 3 while some will be 'eliminated'.

At Group 3, the most fighting happens. The weaker predators gets eliminated and the stronger ones gets too fat eventually and with plenty of surpluses, transits to Group 1 and the need to kill diminishes.

Going fwd, this game will never be played the same way again. How it'll evolve and what the new rules will be is anyone's guess.

I applaud Mr Tan's undertaking of the role of spearheading this historical and important course of change. The impact he can create and whether he will succeed in invoking positive actions from the ruling class depends solely on 1 thing, that is our support.

Anonymous said...

I think the name "minibond" is enough to indicate mis=selling. What do you expect to buy "minibond"?
Normal bond comes in value of at least $250,000 for 1 counter. Minibond will means to many its business is in the bond market but mini in size, for a few thousand dollars you could invest in bond of a few company. This is done by polling many investors together.
This is the case of "hanging the goat head and selling dog's meat"!!!

Anonymous said...

I smelled a rat 2 yrs ago when it was selling like hotcakes. after reading thru the fact & term sheets, my suspicions were confirmed. There were simply not sufficient info provided, and many points were too vague and ambiguious. The whole material was trying to tell me "no worries, don't think so much, got extra interests faster take, just sign and congrats for being smart"

And if the distributors were expecting the laymen auntie & uncles to read thru & digest the thick prospectus laid with lawyer drafted literature .. they must be nuts

and the fact that the RM is able to condense few hundred pages of wordings into 5 mins of 'presentation' and is fully satisfied that the auntie understands the product sufficiently to sign... they should be nominated for the Nobel prize for Literature

FXS said...

I think the problem is not with the FAs or the RMs themselves. If anything, they are doing a good job for what they are trained and rewarded to do - sell products. I think, in my opinion, that a way to prevent this from happening again to another product (regardless of whatever product), is to change the way financial advisers are being rewarded. They are acting more like brokers, and not advisers.

I have written an article on this, here:

You can discuss this article here:

Or drop me an email. I'd love to hear your comments.


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