Monday, November 14, 2011

How an expatriate avoided mis-selling by his bank

Dear Mr. Tan,

Soon after I moved to Singapore I was offered an investment product from one of the world’s largest banks. It purported to guarantee me a return about four times higher than the then interest rate on deposits. I asked what the risk was and how the product worked; clearly there was risk – the bank was not going to pay me all that return for nothing. The bank representative was totally unable to explain the product or the risk and just ended up saying “well a lot of my customers bought it and they never asked me questions like you do”!! All I can say is more fool them if they bought without understanding. It was a gamble by the way on the movements between two currencies. As for the Bank..well to be mis-selling in this age of increased regulation and supposed consumer protection is indeed staggering.

Golden rules. If you don’t understand the product; don’t buy. If salespeople cannot explain a product in simple, clear language, devoid of jargon, then they don’t understand it; don’t buy. If it sounds too good to be true; don’t buy.

Anthony Hobrow

Direct Asia


yujuan said...

Expatriates are smarter than us, maybe.
But many of us place a lot of trust on our long time bankers and MAS, the regulator.
That is our greatest mistake and regret, leading to social trust in Singapore being shattered. Now you can't trust your Bank relationship manager or decades old stock broker, who may be our close friends or relatives, and to save their own skins turn against us, accusing us of being blind, quoting LKY.

Anonymous said...

How about an open registry (website) on all derivatives products that are being sold in Singapore.

Presumably, MAS, would have such a list.

Then consumers can do their own checks to see if it is an "investment" or a "derivatives".

Anonymous said...

But you don't understand.. in Singapore, the people are very, very rich!.. they just don't know where to park their cash!!

Look at all the brand new shiny cars!
Look at all the brand new casinos
Look at all the brand new homes!
Look at the brand new Circle Line!
Look at all the long lines at TOTO
Look at all the maids washing cars!

Look at our brand new gov!

There are no fools here.

Anonymous said...

How do the salesmen at the banks or the insurance salesmen drive big cars and live in condo? Of course with your money!!!!!!why occupy Wallstreet?

Hey the appeal judge already said....literate oR illiterate..can or cannot eyes or close.....
IT IS CAVEAT need to say...die is your one is going to help you.Better be street smart...don't buy from salesmen, from the banks or the insurance companies...This is self defence or self protection.

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