Martin Lee @ Sg
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How to File a Dispute for Structured Product Victims

This post is for those who have purchased structured products like Minibond, Jubilee, DBS High Notes, etc.

If you feel you have been mispresented or given inadequate advise and would have to seek compensation against the financial institution that sold you the products, you might want to refer to the following as a guide. 

There have been many helpful readers who have provided their inputs on how they are proceeding with their case. As some of these are scattered all over the blog and are quite difficult to find, I have compiled them into one post here. Many thanks to those who have taken the time to provide their feedback.

However, do take note that I am not legally trained. The information here is provided in good faith and as a general guide only. I will not be held liable for any losses resulting from any errors, inaccuracies or omissions in the information or from the use of the information.

If your case warrants it, you might want to seek your own independent legal counsel:

Meeting Your Lawyer – Things to Prepare

The following steps are only meant for those who feel they have been mislead and would like to seek compensation for their purchase of the structured notes. 

If you are deterred by potential legal fees because your investment amount is small, you might still want to proceed with some of the actions below if your case is strong. Depending on how events unfold with MAS, the financial institutions and FIDrec, there might or might not be a need to go to court.

If you are unsure about how to proceed on any of the steps, one suggestion is to approach your MP for assistance.

1) Register Your Particulars (Sign the online petition)

Update: This step is no longer required.

2) Send a Formal Letter (Hardcopy) to the Financial Institution You Bought the Product or Received Advice From

Answer the following questions in your letter. Note (b) and (c) are often linked, so you may wish to combine, or repeat yourself.

(a) What did you invest in, i.e. name of product, amount invested and other particulars?
(b) How you happened to invest in these securities. e.g. convinced by the marketing officer (NAME and Rank) to make the investment
(c) Any assurances (verbal or otherwise) that you received concerning the low risk nature
(d) Your personal risk profile, i.e. were you risk adverse? What did you tell officer?
(e) Were you informed by the adviser about the nature of the risk?
(f) Why you feel that you have not been properly advised, i.e. mis-selling, by the adviser?
(g) Why a risky investment is not suitable for your circumstances. Did you tell officer?
(h) If you have any written evidence to support your statement, you should provide it in your letter.

Here’s a sample you can refer to:

Sample Letter to Financial Institution

Update: If writing a formal letter is too difficult, you can consider using this complaint form.

Use a registered mail if you need to. Otherwise, call the financial institution up after a few days to confirm that they have received your letter if you don’t hear from them.

Click here for contact details of Financial Institutions

IMPORTANT: Do not simply cut and paste from the letter above. You will need to change the contents of the letters so that they tally with your own circumstances. Answer the questions (a)-(h) detailed above. Sending a letter with the wrong facts can weaken your case.

3) Send a Copy of Your Formal Letter to your MP, MAS and FIDrec.

Update : The letter to your MP is probably no longer required now.

Contact Details of MPs can be found here.

MAS

Mr Goh Chok Tong (Chairman)
Monetary Authority of Singapore
10 Shenton Way MAS Building
Singapore 079117
Tel: (65)-6225-5577
Fax: (65)-6229-9229

FIDrec

Charis Lee
Assistant Manager (Complaints Management)
Financial Industry Disputes Resolution Centre Ltd
112 Robinson Road, #13-03
HB Robinson
Singapore 068902

Email: [email protected]
Tel : (65) 6327 8878
Website: http://www.fidrec.com.sg

Reference

MAS Press Statement on Structured Products

Guidelines issued by MAS (Click here for Chinese version)

FAQ issued by MAS

4) Prepare a Case File

This is important. Please keep a comprehensive file on this matter. Such a file will help you or anyone helping you better understand your case.

The file should contain:

(a) A list providing the identities of all the parties involved in the dispute.

(b) All the documents relevant to the dispute, especially correspondences that you received and material that you have signed or agreed to. If you are not sure if a document is relevant to the dispute, put it in.

(c) A timeline of the events/ a milestone chart.

(d) A statement containing your side of the story. This will be useful in helping anyone to understand your dispute. Be as concise and precise as possible. Use headings and bold or underline parts that you think are important. Recall in detail particularly any verbal meetings you had with the other parties involved in the dispute. Do feel free in your statement to make references to the material you have prepared in (a) – (c) above. You can use this as the basis of any letter you sent to the financial institution, etc. Or you can use the letter you have sent as a basis of this.

(e) Update the file as the dispute progresses. Document any correspondence, whether written or verbal, (including the date) that you receive from the financial institution and related parties.

5) Wait It Out

This is the timeline given by MAS for the dispute resolution process:

MAS Spelts Out Timeline

6) Optional : File a statutory declaration

This helps to strengthen your case and can be used in a subsequent lawsuit but will cost $120. More details on how to do it can be found on Mr Tan Kin Lian’s blog.

Update : Unless you intend to go the legal route later, you probably don’t need to spend the $120 for now.

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10 comments
Leon says 10 years ago

Hi,

Just for your info below.. Hopeful that I’ll government here will take the same same step, it is obvious now that such risky product should not to be sold to retail investors in the 1st place. To some extent, the government & banks should take some responsibilities.

HONG KONG (Dow Jones)–All the banks in Hong Kong will buy back the
mini-bonds backed by Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. (LEH) that they sold to
retail investors, the Chinese-language Hong Kong Economic Journal reported
Friday, citing unnamed sources.

The paper said the banks and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority plan to
announce the details of the package Friday.

Monday, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority said Hong Kong”s banks sold
HK$20.17 billion (US$2.59 billion) worth of Lehman-related products to
retail investors, including HK$11.2 billion of mini-bonds, whose value
plunged after Lehman collapsed last month.

Separately, an 84-year-old woman and her mentally-ill son reached an
agreement with on a partial refund from DBS Group Holdings Ltd. (D05.SG) on
derivatives backed by Lehman, the South China Morning Post reported Friday,
citing the woman”s younger son.

The paper said it is the first case of settlement, but didn”t disclose the
details of the compensation.

Reply
CM Wong says 10 years ago

Dear LL

Would you happen to have the contact details of the person in HKG organising the minibond investors? A friend of mine is down the tubes to the tune of US100k and doesnt know what to do.

Reply
Lee Lang Kiang says 10 years ago

Hi,
I am holding some DBS High Notes 2, the recent report shows that it worths $0.31, due to Lehman Brothers, Fannie & Freddie. Do I have to take any action now?

Reply
kwan Chiew Choi says 10 years ago

I am holder of the Mini-Bond. I want to be included in any actions/discussions relating to resolution of matter. I suggest that bond holders have meetings with the Trustee, HSBC, on the course of action to be taken.

Reply
Is There Hope for Minibond Victims? | Den of The Lion Investor says 10 years ago

[…] this juncture, what you can do ( after you have filed your complaint) is to take all their replies and document them […]

Reply
Daniel Mao says 10 years ago

The Petition URL is

http://www.petitiononline.com/PSGCLS01/petition.html

You may have to cut and paste into your browser, as the URL link in previous reply is not working.

Reply
Collective Action says 10 years ago

Petition on Credit Linked Securities, Singapore
The Petition to the Singapore Government is now ready for signing at:
http://www.petitiononline.com/PSGCLS01/petition.html

Investors in the credit linked securities can now sign the Petition which will be delivered to the Singapore Government, tentatively by early October.

Reply
Daniel says 10 years ago

Hi ,

I’m currently at oversea and will not be back after one year as i’m doing some research work.

Would like to know is the ” Capital guarantee DBS ‘s Triple Happiness Fund ” affected as well by the current financial turmoil ???

As i am not in singapore to check on all the documents , can ask my relatives to do it for me ??

Thanks a lot for your advice and help .

rgds,
Daniel

Reply
    lioninvestor says 10 years ago

    Hi Daniel,

    Yes, you might want to ask your relatives to check with the bank for updates on that fund.

    Reply
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