Tuesday, December 30, 2008
A dozen investors in Lehman Brothers products suffered a further setback yesterday when the Small Claims Tribunal adjourned until March a hearing on their demands for refunds. Adjudicator Anthony Chow Siu- wo told the tribunal that a further 100 claims needed to be processed, while one of the banks being sued, DBS, as well as an employee of Chong Hing Bank, had asked for their cases to be transferred to the District Court since they needed legal representation.
Legal representatives are not permitted at a hearing by the tribunal, which is limited to dealing with claims not exceeding HK$50,000.
Investors suing DBS complained of being bullied, saying they could not afford the fees in the District Court.
Chow told the 12 individual claimants seeking refunds from six banks that they will have to wait for another three months before the hearing can be continued.
Four claimants who bought DBS' Constellation products were told by a representative of the bank at the tribunal that their products had zero value.
Chow said the problem with some of the cases was that no one, including the banks, knew the value of the financial products that had been sold, though they may have been valued at zero for a certain period. Thus, one could not calculate the amount of money lost by investors, Chow said. ADELE WONG