Saturday, November 15, 2008

God help the righteous

Hi Mr Tan Kin Lian

Our family and friends are very appreciative of your good cause and perseverence to fight for justice for the oppressed. We thank God for your righteousness.

A few key things I would like to summarize here after a long episode of struggle since the fateful day of 15 Sep 08 of Lehman collapse for "a just and fair" resolution resulting in nothing but a fatal rejection. This case is "DBS" High Notes 5 mis-selling.

We feel so helpless and victimised because the product was a DBS product sold as a very safe and low risk product like a FD but later turned out to be such a complex product that we do not even understand, and how is it that we became the "insurer" of the bank?

I wrote letters to the CEO and MD of Consumer Banking, copied MAS and FIDReC. There was no reply to specific questions asked, including:

- The 31 Mar 08 letter to investors from Brandon Lam of DBS which "emphasise that none of the DBS High Notes has any direct exposure to US subprime mortgage-backed securities." Why did this contradict the event of Lehman Brothers.

- The 31 Mar 08 letter to investors from Brandon Lam of DBS stated that "it would take several underlying reference entities in the collateral to suffer Credit Events before investors suffer a loss to their principal amount." Why did a single event of Lehman Brothers lead to zero redemption when there are 8 reference entities?

- The 27 Jun 08 letter from Brandon Lam of DBS urging investors to hold "DBS" High Notes as he said "DBS High Notes are designed to be held to maturity". Why DBS did not uphold its due diligence to safeguard the investment of the people but misled us to hold the funds and later turned around and said that it's zero value? This is "DBS" High Notes, carried under its name.

- Why there is no explicit and clear explanation of the risks associated with this product during sales?

- Why pricing statement and prospectus were not given and explained during sales?

- Why did the RM still claim the product is low risk but the MD admitted that it is high risk in the scale of 8 out of 10?

- Why the product is so complex, yet the RM thought that it is a simple FD kind of investment?

MAS remains on the sideline without any comments. They said they cannot be involved in getting the bank to compensate for the loss or mis-representation. They said they can fine and warn the bank for wrong practice, but we lost our hard-earn money for them to correct their processes and practice?

We are not financially nor legally trained. We wish to know why the authority is also so helpless towards such mis-selling of a financial product that impact so many people.

God help us. For the eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous and His ears are open to their cry. When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them
from all their distresses and troubles.

You see, the Lord is close to those who have a broken heart, and saves such who are crushed with sorrow and are humbly penitent. We claim this promise. Amen.



Anonymous said...

They wont listen to your cries or protests.

If they did, you wont be STILL doing it by now.

Assuming theres no compensation whatsoever, if you ever look back on this some day down the road, you will think this is a very expensive lesson.

This is the whole crux of it.

Anonymous said...

Hi JL,

As a believer of not wanting to get involved in anything local and always believe in exercising Due Diligence. I must thank the Lord that I'm not in this predicarment, I read and hear of so many interesting stories happening at this wonderful BLOG.
I somethimes wonder what is the root cause of all this troubles as I cannot comment further except to browse through all the topics in this Blog and come to my own conclusion that the Good will prevail over the Bad or wrong doers! As the Lord will be the judge.............


Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Tan,
While attending your talk today, some of us talk about legal action that you will be covering two weeks from now. Few thoughts:

1) Investors need to engage a few lawyers as investors will be facing many many lawyers that FIs have.
2) Should the investors hired both QC and local lawyers.
3) Investors will contribute to the class legal fee but should investors also ask the public who are sympathetic to the cause for donation to the legal fund as the case involved not just the compensation but also some principles?

Anonymous said...

Hi Sore Investors,

I DON"T understand HOW a 50-yr-old businessman (or teacher or IT administrator or engineer etc) can be so easily be "MISLED" by the average 25-yr-old Bank Relationship Manager into buying structured products???

Anonymous said...

Have mercy on us for we are like sheep surrounded by ravenous wolves. See our tears and pour out your abundant mercy upon us once more. Stir the hearts of those in authorities to love justice and righteousness once more. Give them wisdom to do what is pleasing in your sight. On the behalf of the banks and government, we repent for the love of money. Have mercy on us. Intervene in our situations for you know the truth. Like the poor widow who pleaded for justice even though the judge did not fear God and men; and succeeded, do it AGAIN. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow us all the days of our lives and we will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Amen

Anonymous said...

I hope govt don't hold the election soon. I am disappointed with our govt and think they have not done the right thing. They should have regulated the financial industry and prevent these toxic investments to Singaporeans. How could a person invest in 7 reference entities and suddenly addition entities appear out of no-where. If that is the case, in the prospectus, it should have stated in black-and-white.

I am not an investor but I emphathise these investors. For most citizens, it take years and years of hard work to accumulate ten thousands or hundred thousands. Perhaps, our ministers make million dollars per year, thus to them fify thousand dollars is nothing. But as fellow citizens of Singapore and currently a middle-class, I understand how long it take to accumulate money. In this saga, from being a supporter of govt, I am worried for Singapore, especially when news of Temasek losing money in investments appear in The Straits Times frequently and our very own PM and MM preached about buyer beware. It just goes to show our ministers do not care and there is gross misjudgement in Temasek. I am wondering, how come the companies Temasek invested always have problems? Something is very wrong. Perhaps the CEO or directors must be held accountable. I am beginning to lose faith in Temasek for its ability to make wise decisions.

For your information, I don't support the oppositions like the ridiculous Chee Soon Quan. I think he is not fit to be a leader in Singapore. I believe free speech with responsibilty.To ministers or govt officials reading this, I am writing this because I am concerned of Singapore, I want the best for Singapore and as a citizen, I hope our government is making the wise decision in selecting the right person for the job, is being fair to our citizens, and making the right decision to regulate the financial industry. From this saga, if we let banks have the free rein, they could just add any entities they like and then when investment go awry, blame investors. I hope from this incident, more can be done by the MAS to do the right thing by regulating the banks and let them be responsible. It is time to do something to prevent singaporeans from being swindled by the banks. Do the right thing, investigate the banks like what Hong Kong is doing now. I am now admiring the efficiency of the Honkies. Though they risk losing the financial centre status, they earn the respect and trust from their citizens.

Anonymous said...

I hope the government will hold election soon. I will vote against them for how they had handled this minibond disaster, so will the rest of affected investors.

Anonymous said...

Why is the CAD keeping so quiet although there are obvious signs and symptoms of criminal white-collar offences involving huge sums of money by the Banks esp DBS? Simple.....CAD is directly under the purview of the Minister for Finance via the CP. DBS is 49% owned by the PAP Govt via Temasek.
The CAD happily investigates and prosecutes the small fishes but when it comes to their bosses, they are as tame and quiet as trained mice!
What a bloody shame!!!!!

Anonymous said...

The inaction (and complete unfairness) on the part of the PAP government leaves the social compact in tatters. If this is not the time to march, then when? When we find our reserves decimated?

Anonymous said...

This is not a WELFARE STATE and the DIY or Misadventure into unchartered territory like the Piper Piper Story, brought about being sheer bad luck of buying mis-selling products of one's own doing to chase the pot of Gold at the end of the rainbow with the intention of pursuing Material WEALTH!.......resulted in Disappointment and Frustration!
Money is like Magic, once gone - very hard to get back!......
Looks like an uphill task so far but Patience and HOPE is the only way out!

Anonymous said...

To Jacky Goh

I'm also just a concerned citizen like you and am not an investor. I guess you are like the vast majority of Singaporeans that our leaders can count on to believe and vote for them freely. The leaders of today are not the ones that build up Singapore from scratch.

Those retired leaders were not born with a golden spoon, they grew up in an era where life is not just --- you can't afford to go to school even if you are smart, etc. These background gave us leaders who understand and sympathise with the hardships of common folks. However, our current leaders grew up in a different environment, and their perception and idea of equality and fairness are different from previous leaders.

It is foolish to give the same absolute reliance and dependence on government as our fathers had. Open your eyes at how the leaders in Hong Kong reacted to investors there. This mini bond saga concerns not only the 10000 investors but our entire nation.

Anonymous said...

"Have mercy on us for we are like sheep surrounded by ravenous wolves."

Yes quite right, someone mentioned this before.

Banks are like wolves in sheep clothing.

My read is

Investors you are like sheeps in wolves clothing.

Think about it.

Anonymous said...

To nicholos Loh,
To me, the ending of this saga is an answer to me if the govt is siding with the banks (power)or seriously caring for the citizens' welfare. Apparently, these are risky investment products with the intention to deceive, yet these products were approved by the MAS. Has MAS practise their due diligence?
For your infomation, I respect our previous ministers and current ministers like Mr.Lim Swee Say and Mr Khaw who care for the citizens. I believe MM Lee is a great leader. But this time, I just feel disappointed with his comment. It seem like he doesn't understand the pain of 'unwitting' investors who were lured to invest when their initial goal was to put their money in fixed deposits. They are not 'investors' to their knowledge for the majority.
My belief that if we have to lose money at the expense of the citizens to become financial centre, then it is not worth it. Ultimately those structured products are just schemes to deceive people. It is more viable to be the Engineering or biomedical hub of the world where there is real contribution to the world.

Anonymous said...

The fact I bother to write is that I feel that this saga might cost the govt some votes if this issue is not done rightly. America has already fined the banks and ordered them to pay back the investors for the similar products in Singapore. Again, I feel that the govt is kind of making the wrong decision to have early election, does they know that many middle-class feel frustrated with the negative news of Temasek losing money in investments and also for not doing much to help these 'investors'. People are shaking their heads at Temasek for having the 'bad touch'. Did they invest with their eyes open?

HK govt is already investigating the banks. What is Singapore govt doing? MAS is waiting for the banks to do the right thing. But it is like taking forever. Is there justice? I am worried because if this is not done rightly, it might affect election results. I hope the govt is taking this seriously and do the right thing. Perhaps surrounded by the rich supporters, they are not aware of the general sentiment of the middle-class.

Anonymous said...

I like the description that Anon 12:54pm gave: investors are like sheep in wolf's clothing. I find it very apt.

Want to buy, very brave; Lose money, goes bah bah bah...

Like all things, God has plans for everyone. Maybe, this is God's sign for those who invest, not to be greedy and instead of putting your money with the bank to grow money for your own sake, you should put money with the Church and grow God's money. Imagine what good can the Lord do with your money.

Next time put your $200,000 with the Church and you will be well blessed by the Lord. The good Lord will provide for you.

Anonymous said...

12.23 am, are you laughing at our two town councils for losing $12 million dollars of Singaporeans' hard-earned money? Mind you, these town councils are managed by Dr. and 'Professionals'.
Anyway, it is worrying that our govt is putting 35% for investment. I am afraid they lose all of it, then there will be nothing more. It is prudent to lower or just put it in the banks as fixed deposits.

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