Take this hypothetical example:
1. You are a senior manager of a bank with several branches
2. An investment bank approaches you to sell their innovative products and offers your bank an attractive commission of 3% to sell the product.
3. As the product looks attractive, you are confident of selling $50 million in your branches in one week. This will give a commission of $1,500,000. After deducting the incentive to your relationship managers (say 1%), you can make $1,000,000 for your bank.
4. You agree to distribute the product and sends your relationship managers for training by the product issuer. This is a short talk covering only the positive features of the product, i.e. "how to sell". It does not cover the prospectus and the negative features (as they do not help in the sales).
5. The product issuer advises you to get a disclaimer signed by the retail customers to waive liability for any loss on investing in the product.
The product turns out to be quite different from what you understood it to be. You realised to your horror, that it includes components such as credit default swaps and collaterialised debt obligations (that your bank or its relationship managers did not realise earlier).
As financial advisers, with responsibilties under the Financial Advisers Act), were your relationship managers negligent in not understanding the product that was sold to the retail customers? Does your bank share in this negligence?
What do you do?
a) Hide under the disclaimer clause?
b) Admit your mistake and offer to share the loss with the investors?
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