Susan (not her real name) received a call from a marketing person of her bank. He offered her an attractive investment. She went to the bank to buy the investment. She invested a sum of $70,000 for the five year investment. She signed on a tablet and received the documents a few days later. As she was travelling, she did not read the document.
One year later, she looked at the document and was shocked at what she had bought. She thought it was a 5 year investment. Instead, it was a life insurance policy that required her to pay an annual premium of $70,000 over five years and would receive the maturity proceed at the end of 10 years.
She was misled by the marketing person working for the bank into thinking that it was a single investment of $70,000 that would mature after 5 years. She was horrified that if she did not continue to pay the annual premium for the next four years, the $70,000 that she had paid would be entirely forfeited.
When she lodged a complaint with the bank that sold the investment, the bank denied responsibility. The life insurance company pushed the responsibility to the bank that made the sale.
Susan stand to lose $70,000 of her hard earned money from this costly mistake. She asked:
a) How could MAS and the government allowed the bank to sell this "investment" to her?
b) How could the marketing person get access to her account details with the bank and approached her to buy this "investment"?
c) How can the MAS allow the bank and the insurance company to make a "profit" out of the $70,000 that had been "stolen" from her?
I have heard of many cases similar to Susan's case. It is very bad for the banks to be selling this type of life insurance policies. The risk of mis-selling is high. Many people have made an "investment" not realizing that it is a life insurance policy that has heavy penalty on early termination. Susan's case is more extreme in the mis-representation is so grotesque.