11 Nov 2008
Two investors in Lehman Brothers derivatives who filed a case seeking refunds reached settlements with Wing Lung Bank yesterday, saying they will dismiss their suit after they receive compensation.
They were among the five investors who filed lawsuits on Thursday with the Small Claims Tribunal against Wing Lung Bank, Citic Ka Wah Bank and Mevas Bank. The cases are to be heard on December 29.
One of the investors, a 71-year-old surnamed Ting, said he was satisfied with the settlement, but refused to reveal details. He said his confidence in banks had been restored and that he would continue to use Wing Lung Bank’s services.
In 2004, Mr Ting invested HK$ 40,000 in Lehman Brotherslinked minibonds. He said the bank’s staff had misled him into thinking minibonds were like fixed deposits, and were backed by “sound and famous companies in the world”.
Meanwhile, other investors reached settlements with the Bank of China. Most of them were more than 65 years old and had invested tens of thousands of dollars in more than HK$1million worth of Lehman-related derivatives.
The Hong Kong Association of Banks’ taskforce on Lehman derivative products published full-page advertisements in several newspapers, restating that it would give priority to cases involving customers aged 65 or older.
“We will continue to file cases with the Small Claims Tribunal and District Courts,” said Democratic Party legislator Kam Nai-wai, who has been helping investors pursue their cases. The party will file up to 10 cases this week.
He said banks were too passive in reaching settlementsand legal action would speed up the process.
Democratic Sha Tin district councillor Michael Yung Ming-chau, who had assisted Mr Ting, said it would be a win-win situation for investors and banks if they could settle before facing each other in court. “ Banks shouldn’t deal with the cases only after they see [plaintiff’s] lawyers.”
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