The following is a recent true story written by a friend of mine.
It is a warning to be vigilant of what might happen to elderly or not so literate people when they try to perform simple banking like fixed deposits at certain banks.
Never let your guard down.
Friends, if your parents do their own banking and they happen to know very little English, do watch out for them. You see, my parents did some banking this week. Strangely, even though they were merely depositing some spare cash, they were led to a nice booth and had a nice lady speak to them about their financial products. Were they identified as potential targets by the bank? Could be.
Anyway, being the shrewd person she is, my mum stated three simple requirements. The product recommended should be
The sales person from the bank assured her that she had just the right product for my parents. They signed on the document and went home. Being cautious, my mum got her grandson to check the terms and conditions for her, and she was horrified to learn that the product is :
1. Not capital guaranteed. Worse case scenario could result in up to 20% in loses.
2. Only redeemable after 10 years.
3. Insurance and investment linked.
What a total misrepresentation of facts. Totally reprehensible, irresponsible, unethical and unprofessional conduct by this bank officer. Thanks to my sister, this matter has been resolved.
Lessons to share:
1. Learn to read
2. Be cautious
3. Do not trust people who have an agenda
This incident is clearly a breach of regulations on a few counts.
First of all, bank tellers are prohibited from referring customers to representatives for the purchase of investment products. This is to achieve clearer segregation between traditional teller transactions and investment product sales activities.
Tellers are only allowed to refer clients to representatives only when there is an express request by the client for information on investment products.
There is also mis-representation and needless to say, the recommended product is clearly unsuitable for the customer.