Contributed by RW
After destroying the savings of valued customers, we have to wonder if the financial industry, in its present form, is worth saving.
The carnage has now extended to our Town Councils.
The same pattern is seen elsewhere.
Tens of thousands of individuals in Hong Kong and Taiwan. In United States, UBS customers of products marketed in a remarkably similar manner are shocked to receive statements showing their investments are almost wiped out and are suing the bank.
Some United States Municipalities, School Districts, etc are on the verge of bankruptcy. Using derivatives, JPMorgan pitched a host of deals whose names alone are indecipherable. For Philadelphia International Airport, the bank sold something called a ``path-dependent knock-out swaption.''
Individual customers were unfairly tricked and trapped into products with long lists of secretive "underlying securities", purposely hidden from view. Perhaps, the key to the scam?
But if Town Councils, Municipalities, etc did not escape, what chance do individual customers have?
The banks and FIs should act promptly with humility and humanity, and not with tiny gestures. Your bold acts can still save the local industry and earn the enormous goodwill and gratitude of the victims and your other customers.
The costs of sustaining a futile public relations campaign, expensive legal advice, loss of management and staff focus on the real battles, fallout costs, opportunity costs, etc must easily exceed the amounts you need to return. In the United States, banks have returned customers their money in dubious products.
If this impasse continues, what future is there? Working-class individuals will never look "relationship" managers and "personal" bankers in the eye ever again. Rich individuals, burnt by collapse of hedge funds and wealth management investments, will avoid "private" bankers like the plague.
It is very sad when the mainstream media continues to come up with articles from its own employees or from commentators, without researching the trail of destruction, without regard for the feelings of the victims but instead to deride their intelligence, and focus on a tiny few who could afford to "move on". The distress, worries, fatigue and permanent psychological damage extends to not only the 10,000 victims, but their immediate families, relatives, friends and colleagues. The tipping point must surely be near.
In the United States, justice has been done and continues to be done. Banks are forced to pay back all customers in full and are heavily fined. Banks and FIs in Singapore can show the world that they do not need the prodding of the authorities to "do the right thing".
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