Monday, November 05, 2012

Why MAS should have acted earlier

2 November 2012

I disagree with several of the arguments put forward by Ms Grace Tan in her letter
"MAS spot on in handling buyback firm Genneva" (St 1 Nov 2012) 

Ms Tan said that "it is almost impossible for the authorities to investigate each firm 
to detect traces of fraud". Surely, when there are reasons to suspect fraud, e.g. when
the payback offer is "too good to be true", the regulator should have started investigation
earlier? A suitable time would be when the scheme is placed on the Investor Alert List.

Ms Tan said that by putting Genneva on the Investor Alert List, it is similar to placing a
road sign to warn about the danger. In this case, the danger sign is placed at the 
danger spot on the road and not somewhere else. In the case of Genneva, surely the 
warning should be placed outside its places of operation, rather than the MAS website?

Ms Tan said that "the Government cannot arrest anyone who looks like a crook 
unless the person commits a crime". But, how is the authority going to know if that 
person is a crook, unless an investigation is carried out? There are sufficient grounds
for the relevant authority to have started an investigation earlier, rather than wait for years 
to take action. MAS could have asked the Commercial Affairs Department to carry out
an investigation much earlier.

Ms. Tan also quoted the analogy of a person who break the law by jaywalking. There is 
a difference. A person who jaywalks can only harm himself. When a buyback firm breaks the law, 
the firm is harming thousands
of unsuspecting investors. 

Tan Kin Lian


yujuan said...

Just a proxy writer from MAS, or worse still related to the PAP.

Terence Soon said...

Nah doubt grace is a writer for the MAS. Go look at stomp. She's one of the star bloggers there!

Lye Khuen Way said...

Yujuan, just as well.

The illogical defence of MAS get an airing by Mr Tan for more to read about.

Unknown said...

Geneva can hire 5 dollars an hour outside contractor to start investigate himself. In the process of investigation, start compensate investors who have small amount of investment in Geneva and publish a report which says that high percentage of number of customers have been compensated.

To the rest of the investors, cite that they have signed the dotted line and they went into the contract with their eye open and fully aware of the risk, oh ya caveat emptor the magic word.

Maybe the relevant authority will bar them from conducting business for 3 months and after that Geneva can conduct their business as usual.

The above process had been used by other FIs I guess there is no harm for Geneva to try their luck.

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