Martin Lee @ Sg
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Minibond Victims Turn to MAS

Yesterday, a group of Minibond investors turned up at the National Library at 7pm to talk about their “Minibond woes” and discuss further action.

As the meeting was arranged at a short notice, I had expected only a small group of investors to be at the meeting. Instead, I saw a big group of 100+ investors gathered when I went there to have a look. Many of them heard about the meeting from Mr Tan Kin Lian’s blog and from newspapers.

Channelnewsasia: Online petition for investors who bought Lehman-linked structured products

Minibond on the radio

There were even a handful of jounalists there to gather feedback from the investors. They duly reported the event in the media. I would like to thank the press for highlighting and increasing the public awareness of the current situation.

Straits Times: Investors Turn to MAS

Mini-bonds, Major Headaches

MAS Fast Tracks Complaints

Please, MAS, tell us more

Business Times: MAS Cracks Whip to Get Fair Deal for Investors (Accessible only after 6pm)

A decision was made by minibond holders not to waste time and to submit the Minibond Petition to MAS immediately. Among other things, the petition urges MAS to:

  • look into the possible mispresentation by financial institutions selling the product to risk adverse investors.
  • explore negotiations with all parties so that Minibond will have a chance to run until maturity.
  • lobby for Nomura Holdings to take over the liabilities Minibonds as a precondition for operating in Singapore.
  • instruct HSBC Trust not to force liquidate any series without first consulting note holders.
  • take a more active role to help investors like what the Hong Kong MAS is doing.

Mr Tan Kin Lian will be helping to organise another proper meeting for structured product victims. If you like to be kept informed, please sign his online petition to provide him with your details if you haven’t already done so.

At the same time while the Minibond meeting was taking place, MAS was having an emergency meeting to discuss how to handle the situation. Late last night, MAS issued a statement on this:

MAS Press Statement on Structured Products

Essentially, they have told financial institutions to appoint third parties to oversee their complaints handling processes and investigations into any mis-selling of these structured products.

Earlier on in the same evening, I also had the opportunity, together with a small group of Minibond holders, to meet up with the CEO of HSBC Institutional Trust last evening to seek greater clarity on the current situation.

Other than clarifying their role as a trustee and their limitations, I couldn’t really obtain much information from them beyond the FAQ they have already published on the Minibond. These are some of the points from the meeting:

  • As a trustee, they have nothing to do with the design, marketing and integrity of the product.
  • The underlying securities are held with HSBC Hong Kong as the custodian.
  • Their role is more passive rather than active. Until an event has occured that gives them the right to act, they are bound by the terms specified in the trustee agreement.
  • They are able to explore options if a third party approaches them. However, they are unable to actively seek out third parties.
  • They are unable to comment how long it will take to determine the market value of the underlying securities, nor are they able to give a fair estimate of the value at this point in time.
  • They are unable to comment on the actual entities in the notes that back up the underlying securites.
  • With regards to the substitution of underlying securities that took place for series 1, 2 and 3, the letter dated 15 August was not sent out by them but by the issuer. They are unable to comment on why the substitution was made, nor are they aware of any changes to the entities.
  • Technically, all the Minibond series are still in play until there is an event that triggers some kind of default. In the case of series 5 and 6, noteholders have already been informed of the coupon payment default and the 15 days grace period. When asked what they would do after the 15 days is over, they said it was premature to comment as there are many things that could happen between now and the end of 15 days.

Separately, someone has emailed me a FAQ issued by Lehman Brothers Singapore dated 22nd September 2008. This was addressed to all distributors and holders of bonds issued by Minibond Limited but interestingly, this is the first time I have come across this document.

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Leave a Comment:

bukem says 13 years ago

Hi lioninvestor, good job here.

Another product of concern looks like GE greatlink choice. CDO like product. The indicative prices have dropped by alot.

Check the factsheets; all the names are inside:

Wasington Mutual
Bradford & Bingley
Bear Stearns

This looks like another minibomb unless GE investors are more savvy than DBS’s etc..

Please check with your advisors..

Help-Minibond says 13 years ago

Please support:

Petition on Credit Linked Securities, Singapore
The Petition to the Singapore Government is now ready for signing at:

Investors in the credit linked securities can now sign the Petition which will be delivered to the Singapore Government, tentatively by early October.
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 11:41 AM 0 comments

Choon says 13 years ago

Hi All,

Any one knows the address of FIDRec and attention to who?

    Kenneth says 13 years ago

    Charis Lee

    Assistant Manager (Complaints Management)
    Financial Industry Disputes Resolution Centre Ltd
    (Company Reg. No.200502125D)
    Email: [email protected]

    Tel : (65) 6327 8878
    Fax : (65) 6327 8488


    112 Robinson Road
    Singapore 068902

lye says 13 years ago

There are proposals that GIC or Temasek to bail us out. They buy all the structured products and let them run through to maturity. Just like what the US goverment is doing. Temasek already makes more than US$1 billion from Merill Lynch sale to BOA. I think this is a good and effective solution to make retailers and FI happy, since this problem starts with MAS allowing these toxic products to enter singapore.

    Patrick says 13 years ago

    May I ask where did you get information on the proposal? Thanks.

      lye says 13 years ago

      Sorry, it’s not really official proposals, just some suggestions by pple in the internet.

        andrew says 13 years ago

        temasek and gic do not invest in things which they do not see profits, this minibond as of now yield no value – how is it possible for them or anyone to take over.

lye says 13 years ago

There are proposals that GIC or Temasek to bail us out. They buy all the structured products and let them run through maturity. Just like what the US goverment is doing. Temasek already makes more than US$1 billion from Merill Lynch sale to BOA. I think this is a good and effective solution to make retailers and FI happy, since this problem starts with MAS allowing these toxic products to enter singapore.

burntoast says 13 years ago

Tan Kin Lian has drafted a petition to the Singapore Govt, and now he needs your input – please go over to his blog to offer your comments and suggestions:

burntoast says 13 years ago

Template: Letter to CEO of financial institution (distributor)
To CEO of (financial institution)

Name of product bought:

1. The above structured product was sold to me by your financial representative, (name), to me on (date). I invested (amount) in the product based on the recommendation of your financial representative.

2. The circumstances in which the above product was sold to me are described below:

(give details)

3. I have been a conservative, risk adverse investor. I have notified your financial representative on my situation, as described below:

(give details).

4. My investment was made on the assurance given by your financial representative that the above product was safe and suitable for me. I understand that your representative is required under Section 27 of the Financial Advisers Act to ensure that investment products are appropriate for the people that they are recommended to.

5. I lost my hard-earned savings by investing in the recommended financial product. The product clearly did not suit my risk profile. I was not made aware of the high risks involved in the financial product and was misled by your financial representative.

6. I seek fair and adequate compensaton from you for my losses.

Contact number:

7. I hope to receive your decision on my request soon.

Mr Goh Chok Tong (Chairman, MAS)
Name of MP, Name of constituency

burntoast says 13 years ago

Tan Kin Lian has come through again. Please “adjust” to fit your particular situation. Please try to let as many people know they can turn to their MPs so that another source of pressure can be brought to bear on banls/FIs

Friday, September 26, 2008

Template: Letter to Member of Parliament
To: XXXXX, Member of Parliament, XXXXX constituency

1. I write to petition that you, as my Member of Parliament, lobby the Government, particularly the Commercial Affairs Department (Singapore Police Force) and/or the Monetary Authority of Singapore, to conduct a full and independent inquiry in relation to structured products sold by various financial institutions in Singapore. These structured products include the Lehman Minibonds, DBS High Notes, Morgan Stanley Pinnacle Notes and Merrill Lynch Jubilee Notes.

2. I lost my hard-earned savings by investing in one such financial product. The product clearly did not suit my risk profile. I was not made aware of the high risks involved in the financial product when buying the product. I became an innocent victim of misrepresentation by the financial institution that sold me the structured product.

3. I now wish to be assured that I have not been a victim of negligent and/or dishonest conduct and/or fraud by this financial institution. If the inquiry reveals I have, I hope the Attorney-General of Singapore will take action against the financial institution and its management.

4. I also seek your assistance in helping to secure suitable legal representation so that I can get fair and adequate compensation for the injustice I have suffered. The financial institutions are able to afford large and powerful law firms, which I cannot. I hope you can persuade the Government to assist me in seeking legal redress from the Court.

5. Please help me.

Contact number:

Name of product bought:
Name of financial institution involved:
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 2:08 PM

    Joy Goh says 13 years ago

    minibond series 5

lye says 13 years ago

Hi all,
I think Jan has been overloaded with work. So pls don’t trouble her unneccesarily. We wait for Mr. Tan kin lian to lead us further.

ENGEL says 13 years ago

Hi Folks, I have sent an email to MM Lee, our Tanjong Pagar GRC member, c.c MAS. Guess what ? MAS called me less than half an hour after the email, tell me the email address of the FIs and request me to lodge complaint to them and MAS will follow up. Hope this will help !

    Choon says 13 years ago

    Hi Engel,

    Weel done and thanks.

diana says 13 years ago

Hi Diana,

I also bought series 7 from HL, any case can you share your complaint letters? I intend to write to them too.

    trouble says 13 years ago

    Hi Diana,

    Could you share the compaint letter?
    I too have series 7 from HL.

Kenneth says 13 years ago

“The relevant authorities may have some difficulties in handling our matters because a lot of parties were involved.”

It is not “cannot” but “would not”. It all depends who speaks. See, the F1 is already here. Casino is also here.

I believe the authority will speak as it affects heartlanders who lost their life saving because of misrepresentation of FIs.

Continue to push for attention else if no one protest, it will be assume FIs have settle the problems and everything is ok. The typical method of letting time cool off.

Bear in mind, nothing will come back from the calculating agent in the worst case scenario. In my opinion, it will be the $0 outcome given the big failings in USA banks now where all the mortage was tied up to.


    Foolish Investor says 13 years ago

    If you are writing to your distributor bank, you may want to copy to MAS and your MP. When enough MP got attention, there will be more public awareness.

    The most urgent action needed is to delay the unwinding of underlying securities under forced-sale conditions, so as to “minimize loss”. Due to the urgency, such actions can only be initiated by government authorities.
    It’s impractical to expect the Noteholders to seek judgment from Courts, esp. quite a few jurisdictions may be involved.

    As to who’s at fault, we can deal with that later, or concurrently.
    In fact, I think the blame cannot be put on any single party…the entire system of product innovation, risk assessment & disclosure, sales methodology is to be examined. It is not reasonable to expect retail investors to understand fully the Prospectus and Pricing Stt, esp. when the marketing brochure is over-simplified and misleading.

    majority is still safe says 13 years ago

    We have to be thankful that the banking system in Singapore is still intact unlike the U.S. Despite some people losing their life savings from these structured products, the money in Savings and CPF Accounts are still safe.

Jasmin says 13 years ago

The relevant authorities may have some difficulties in handling our matters because a lot of parties were involved.

BTW, do read

Jan says 13 years ago

To keep you all informed :
We have reviewed and made minor changes to the letter VSL drafted and sent it to Mr. Adrian Tan for his comments. Once he gives the go-ahead, we will upload the letter template on this website.

    MR Singh says 13 years ago

    Hi, late in the discussion. Where can i get the template from?

SP says 13 years ago

One very obvious negligence of MAS is that :1) when U.S. sub prime issues surfaced last year, 2)Bear Stern’s virtual collapsed early this year… and yet MAS still allow Minibond series 9 to sell to public retail investors mid of this year. They simply never help public to digest the risk of such credit link product.
I urge Series 9 investors to fight back all of your principal.

Kenneth says 13 years ago

US just got hit with another bank failure. Washington Mutual. JP morgan bought their deposit and Fed Res took over the bank.

Some kind of creative and complex mortage they have. Some applies to AIG as read Fredie Mac is talking to them on some redemption.

So sit tight and watch for opportunity as all are having problems with this same thingy…..

    lewis says 13 years ago

    Wall Street is a product machine. They are always devising new “packages” to sell their customers. A basic word of advice for unseasoned investors: “Know what you are buying.”

    In the U.S, major brokerage firms settled class action suits with clients who bought a “risk-free” product called “auction rate securities.” Until February, auction rate securities had been a place investors could pocket a slightly higher yield without, they were told, “additional” risk.

    Then, in the tumult of the credit crisis, the regular auctions failed.

    This caused Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch and the other investment banks to tell investors who owned these so-called “cash like” securities, “Whoop’s! The market for these securities is frozen… and so is your cash.”

    Investors rushing to capture a slightly higher return inadvertently opened up the doors to risk exposure that they hadn’t expected. And the fallout from write-downs and lawsuits on auction rate securities has been severe. But that doesn’t mean this is the end of questionable financial products…

    Auction Failures Expose a Tainted History

    The sales pitch for these securities had been that they were as safe as a money market account, and almost as safe as cash. The bonds are, in reality, long-term securities, but the banks promised they would hold weekly or monthly auctions to set the interest rates and give investors the option of selling.

    The securities are generally from tax-exempt institutions, municipalities, corporations, student loan providers and closed-end funds – investments that would normally be associated with safety and security.

    The financial firms liked lending at the low rates generally associated with short-term debt, while they were actually lending at longer terms. But because of the creative Wall Street facilitated auctions, this fact was obscured from investors.

    And as long as investors were receiving their money, and the financial companies receiving their fees, it looked like everyone came out a winner… until the auctions failed.

    When they did, investors called their lawyers instead of their brokers… in the hope of getting some of their money back.

    The largest of the Wall Street firms are buying back billions of dollars of these auction rate securities from affected investors. But this doesn’t solve the problem. Millions of other investors across the globe also bought these same products from online brokerage firms and investment banks that haven’t agreed to settle.

    It’s nothing new. If you are a student of business studies, you know that auction rate securities have a soiled past.

    “The Securities and Exchange Commission,” according to The New York Times, “reached a $13 million settlement with 15 investment banks, and the industry agreed to impose a voluntary code of conduct for the auction-rate market. The SEC investigation centered on how bidding was conducted for these securities. Critics complain that investment banks have the upper hand in bidding because they can bid after seeing what other investors have bid.”

    This lack of transparency is old news, yet it might as well be pulled from today’s headlines.

    Look Out for the Next Questionable Investment

    Auction rate securities are now history. The market hasn’t rebounded and investment banks are going to lose billions as regulators and courts force them to buy back these notes.

    What’s most notable is that this debacle hit many people and institutions that shouldn’t have been victims. Small business owners, individuals and retirees who thought these notes were like cash faced a liquidity crisis when they couldn’t get their money back.

    And the institutions that used this market to borrow short-term funds saw the source dry up. Lack of access to this capital led to liquidity consequences. Everyone involved ended up getting hurt, and there were lessons learned on both sides of the lending borrowing spectrum.

    But that doesn’t mean this is the end of questionable financial products…

    There are financial products out there right now that wouldn’t pass the sniff test even by MAS standards, and many more are on the way. And with the yield on many products trading in double digits, now is a good time to look around for new income investments. But when it comes to listening to your broker/banker remember “caveat emptor” – let the buyer beware.

    The next time your broker/banker calls you with a new product that you don’t fully understand, just say no. Warren Buffett is famous for avoiding companies whose product he cannot understand. Buffett was criticized for missing the tech boom of the 2000s, but he also missed the resulting crash. If a brilliant mind like Buffett is confused by these shell games, perhaps we should be too.

    With inventive minds working to package and repackage securities or debt instruments behind new wrappers, I guarantee there will be another exotic product coming out that seems too good to be true.

    And it probably is. So stick with what you know.

    Invest in understandable products from well-known agencies and companies. Many of these “new” products aren’t necessary to achieve above-average returns. There’s nothing wrong with stocks, bonds, ETFs and commodities. In fact, the only thing wrong with these investments may be the “Wall Street product machine” that tells you they aren’t good enough.

    Perhaps we should be focusing more on finding investments that offer above-average returns, with below-average risk as investing can be one of the most frustrating experiences in life. There is an old saying on Wall Street:

    “Sell them and you’ll be sorry,
    Buy them and you’ll regret,
    Hold them and you’ll worry,
    Do nothing and you’ll fret.”

    1. Being too conservative, so that your hard-earned savings don’t keep up with inflation.

    2. Being too aggressive, so that you end up losing your shirt or blowing up part of your portfolio.

    3. Trying to time the market. Study after study has shown that no one can consistently time the market.

    4. Unwisely turning your money over to a money manager who loses your wealth, slowly or quickly.

Diana says 13 years ago

I am in the process of drafting my letter to HL Finance where I bought the Minibond Series3.

One point that I thought could be stated in the letter is the
is the level of customer support we are getting from the FIs.
For eg, why did the FIs not informed the investors (customers)
if the valuation of the bonds had dropped some 50% of the value.
This (wealth protection) should have been the one of the main functions of FIs esp those who have so called divisions under “Wealth Management”.

As in the case of HL Finance I had not seen a single letter or received a call from the relationship manager since the day I bought the bonds on the valuation or the “health” of my investment. And this is after the RM that sold me the bonds assured me that HL Finance monitors their customers investments closely. If the FIs had taken the due diligence to monitor
the situation and inform their customers loses suffered would
not have been as bad as now.

I hope this helps.

    ah-li says 13 years ago


    I bought Minibond series3 from HL too, so did my mother-in-law.

    The RM from HL did call me twice in last few months, he invited me to HL to look at other series of Minibond, I did ask him if my series 3 affected by the US Sub prime issues, he said “not at all”.

    I think the RMs of the distributor “don’t know what they are selling” or “don’t bother”.

    I think both.

    If someone just blow the whistle that the minibond is not a bond, not a low risk product and no capital guaranteed. Many of us will not fall into the trap.

    MAS should play this role!

    AS says 13 years ago

    My FI told me that the minibond is a very stable bond and functions just like fixed depostits and does not need to be monitored unless you are in need of money and need to sell. Hence, I never checked with my FI the value of my minibond. I am sure alot of investors share the same story. If your FI told you the same story, you may like to add this point to your letter.

    uncleyue says 13 years ago

    these RMs, they are all the same… when they want your business they promise you heaven and hell (good service, monitoring and regular updates). After you sign on the dotted line and they got your commission they are no where to be seen. Worse still they come and go, here today and don’t know where tomorrow.

burntoast says 13 years ago

Interesting post from ST Forum:

Yesterday, 09:56 AM
There is a similar case in the US. It involved something called auction rate securities. I guessed those who kept yelling “caveat emptor” at us sufferers have never heard of it. It was sold by many large banks, Band of America and citigroup included, as a money market accounts, although it also involved CDOs. Of course, the buyers should have read the prospectus and should not have bought it if they did not understand it, you the heartless souls would argue.

Wrong, US court found the issuers and distributors guilty, and the distributors were ordered to buy back the securities at full full value. BOA bought back US$4.8 billions of them back, and citigroup bought even more back.

The case of Minibonds is a similar case. There is a clear intent on the part of the issuer and distributors to misinform and to cheat. If there is malice on the part of the issuer and distributors, caveat emptor does not apply. I guess this issue is too complicated for you heartless souls to understand.

ENGEL says 13 years ago

Forget to inform that I have lodged complaint to Maybank and an officer called me just to confirm whether I read the clause before I signed. I told her off that are they trying to cover their back or helping us ? At that point of sale we were told these are “low risk” products, who will read through all the clauses stated in those small prints ? Even educated people like us were being misled, not mentioning those illiterate uncles & aunties ! So far GYC has been keeping very quiet … wonder whether they are also bankrupted !

    Kenneth says 13 years ago

    Hi Engel,

    Who is GYC?


ENGEL says 13 years ago

Alvin, may I also have the format of the letter please ? I intend to write to PM.

lioninvestor – I bought the bulk of the bonds from GYC . So far I email a complaint to them but there was no respond. What should I do ?

Anyone bought from GYC ? Any respond from them so far ?

    Peg Loo says 13 years ago

    I bought MB3 from GYC and sent them an email last night. Also sent one to OCBC Securities. So far no response from either.

Jasmin says 13 years ago

Hi folks,
I roughly group people into 2 groups ie group A where invested amount is SMALL in the sense that 50k (again arbitary chosen).

If we are going for the legal route, what would be the sensible amount (as a % on principal invested) to cough up for legal fees?

I don’t think we can place much hope that the relevant authorities would help us to solve our matters.

Kenneth says 13 years ago

Hi Jasmine,

From the reply of DBS, in High Notes 5 & 6, Lehman Brothers is one of the RE. Had it been in MiniSeries 3, I am ok as it was a risk I undertook.

For Mini 3, Lehman Brothers is not one of the RE and it was my understanding credit event is not applicable to Lehman Brothers. In August, I wrote to Phillip Securities and they said there is no impact if Lehman Brothers sells off assets. When bankruptcy was declared, they told me it was consider as credit event found in prospectus while I have to read up in Lioninvestor on where it was written. Then with MAS involvement, we got a extended version from HSBC to wait for default and add 15 days before action is taken.

We are just crying out loud that had we been professionally advise, this will not happen.

From the sales pitch, it is suppose to be a safe product which will only default by 6 reputable banks thus low risk. 5% return above the then 2 to 2.5% inflation is a not risky product. Product is a bond as it is call Minibond.

Nothing was explain along the line that it is a high risk product link with complex derivative, it is not a bond and your principal is not going to be 100% upon maturity because it is dependent on the underlyning securities.

Had the FA explain what the money was tieup to, I will not buy then as I know how properties prices is like. I, a HDB dweller, moved in mid 2006 to central sgp and the price now has gone up by 50% in 2 years purely from demand/supply or should I say, speculation. With an non aggressive appetite, I will never want to mess with property prices. It goes up fast and come down fast.

In order to cool down, I just have to drink more water, bathe more often, follow the LAW:

i) complain to FI, wait for them to call back and expect email written in a similar format like those of DBS. I guess all FIs shared same template just like our complain letters.

ii) 4 weeks later, if not happy, complain to the FIDRC. This will be as follows:
– Fillup a Dispute Resolution form
– photostate IC, front and back
– send in the relevent documents of dispute
– will be given a dispute number
– Wait for 6-8 weeks for officer to call.

While this is going on, MAS will look at how the all kind of process work, how to improve future processes and ask FI to engage independent parties to improve complain processes and maybe new processes on how to sell innovative products without having a process that leads to misrepresentation. Not mentioning the misrepresentation procress has to be review else another case of such will leads to more review and investigation of the preview process of investigation and review.


The best solution so far:
Petition initiated by ex-CEO of Income Tan Kian Lian. +100 affected investors submitted pettition to MAS. Felt great to hear Mr. Tan has spoken to senior MAS official but just wondering why MAS official need people to talk to them. Maybe they are in the different league again.

My conclusion:

The more red tape, the more action to do nothing for affected investers but improving future system.

Where is our money? What is going to happen to this misrepresentation?

Don’t know, I just know my faith in Sgp financial system is gone. In MAS, gone also.
In FI and FAs, also gone.

Are these angry words? Maybe, but at least during bad times you know who you can count on.

For me, I am looking at AIG shares. Hit rock bottom at US$1.85 when Ooi Hong Leong bought. Went up US$3.85 then US$4.72 then US$5.00. Now at US$3.02. If I placed 1000 shares at US$3 for the next 5-3/4 years and it goes back up, I will have my principal back. The risk is AIG collapsed then I loss another $4k. But at least I know what I am doing. Buying toto, 4D, big sweep chances is not high as my max hit is only $30 so far.

Is AIG still good? Well, until someone tell me it is not, I am still fooling with the above idea. Better to use some brain cells to answer the question of “how can I recover” then “Who is to be blame”.

Just my thoughts and thanks for listening if you manage to finish reading.

Mr. Still In Recouping Mode…..

    Sally Tan says 13 years ago

    I have invested substantial amount in Lehman Mini 1 2 and 3. I believe I have been misled of the low risk of the minibonds. I need to write a complaint letter to justify my claim of mislead by the RM. Can someone show me samples or templates for the complaint letters? Thank you

burntoast says 13 years ago

Have you got the emails from the Mailing List? In the latest ones re: lawyer, why is there is some attached emails about NTUC Income case and other extraneous info? Makes me think this is some spam mail. Anyone know?

burntoast says 13 years ago

Thumbs up to Jan, Lye and VSL!!

Choon says 13 years ago

Hi SH, Jan and Lye

Thanks for working on the petition letter, I sugguest the petition letter should also send to our Finance Minister. MAS is under Finance Minster.

    mewdeedi says 13 years ago

    Yes, thk u v much 🙂 and Lioninvestor too 🙂

    becos of selfless pple like u, things start moving and at least we know how to go abt dealing wit tis issue.

    was feeling so hopeless before reading tis blog. my sincere thank u 🙂

Jasmin says 13 years ago

Hi LionInvestor,
I am not sure where to put this piece of news on DBS High Notes Saga.

I am quite surprised by the statement “a manager also calls every customer who is 62 years and above to confirm their understanding of the product” mentioned in the article.

    burntoast says 13 years ago

    This was my reply in the ST Forum:

    cchan4 is correct – DBS has already gained!

    In any case, that is beside the point – the real issue is that DBS sold investors based on misrepresented information. What Janet Mohan is talking about is what is in their SOP (standard operating procedure) – what actually happened is something else.

    DBS is just trying to squirm away from their responsibilities. Why is MAS letting them do this?

    burntoast says 13 years ago

    Below (from ST Forum) is an accurate description how things actually work:

    Yesterday, 06:44 PM

    Investor read prospectus…not too clear…asked RM…RM clarified….investor understand what was being told….based on such understanding made investment decision. What went wrong? Investor regarded RM to have full knowledge of such product thus trusted the clarification.

AHKONG says 13 years ago

Cut the red tape, there is still a long red tape.

Lip service is still a service.

Why not MAS look at the probelm at a whole.

Why asking individual to file the complaint with the FI who will pay for the 3rd party salary for ……

Don’t forget, there are a lot of common folk out there do not know how to move from here. how to write the letter. whom to send the letter to……

It is so obviously that the products are so misleading that no man on the street including those banking salemen/ sale women are confused. Till today, nobody can clearly tell you what is inside the bomb.

Just try to call any FI, you will not be supprised that the banking salemen/ sale women are still confused!

Everyone is misled.

MAS should look at this problem of $500 mil to $1 bil retiree’s fund as a whole and sincerely solve the problem.

    VSL says 13 years ago


    I have drafted a sample complaint letter from a layman’s point of view and submitted it for vetting. It should be on this website by today. Can any legal guy here attest that sending such a letter to FI will not jeopardise any other action we may take?

    Inasmuch as I hate to do it, something in writing must be submitted to FI as a record of our grievance. And this must be done individually. Subsequent actions may be taken collectively for effectiveness.

mewdeedi says 13 years ago


anyone bought from maybank? maybe we can band together to lodge a complaint beside doing it individually.

pls email at [email protected]

    Choon says 13 years ago

    Hi Mewdeedi,

    I bought from Maybank, have email to you.

ALVIN says 13 years ago

i have prepare a complain letter with the help of Mr Adrian Tan recommend by Lion Investor, but now who shall i send the letter to ?????????

    Jan says 13 years ago

    Please write “cc. Mr. Vincent Hee of MAS” at the bottom of your letter.

    Then send a copy to :
    1) The bank where you bought the minibonds from
    2) your MP
    3) email a copy to [email protected]

    Keep a photocopy for yourself.

      Choon says 13 years ago

      Hi Jan,

      Any letter template that we can use?

        Jan says 13 years ago

        We are working on the draft now, hope to post this tomorrow. Please give us a little time as we were very busy the whole day.

ALVIN says 13 years ago

so now what is the action that is needed to be taken now????

PT says 13 years ago

雷曼債 立委要求銀行全額買單 金管會:修法擴大保護


jay says 13 years ago

As I have commented in some of the other posts in this blog.

Isn’t it a good idea if HSBC just allocates the underlying securities (whatever they are) to the investors? Instead of liquidating and distribut the cash (I suspect they are illiquid as well). That way, investors will get the cashflows from those securities as long as they don’t default. Investors will end up getting some principal back when it matures. And can even sell it off when the market improves.

Problem is if the said “securities” are also bogus.

    Patrick says 13 years ago

    Just for sharing, a reply i’ve got from Fidrec..the whole escalation will take around 2 months or more.


    We refer to your email to us pertaining to your dispute with Maybank.

    Please await the reply from the Complaint and Compliance Department of Maybank first. In the event you cannot obtain a resolution to your satisfaction in 4 weeks from the date of your complaint, you can then refer to FIDReC to assist you with your case.

    You may then complete the attached Dispute Resolution Form. Please have it duly signed and returned to us. Please also let us have a copy of your NRIC (front and back) as well as documents (as per attached checklist) which are relevant to your case.

    We will assign a case number to you upon receipt of the above mentioned documents. Our Case Manager will then contact you in 6 to 8 weeks thereafter.

    We wish to inform you that the jurisdiction of FIDReC in adjudicating disputes between banks and consumers, capital market disputes (including third party claims and market conduct claims) is up to S$50,000.

    If the disputed amount exceeds our jurisdiction, we need to inform you that our Case Manager shall not refer this case to adjudication when the case exceeds S$50,000 per claim. Our case manager can refer your dispute to Adjudication where the Financial Institute has agreed to submit to Adjudication for the higher claim amount and/or if you have agreed to limit your claim to the sums as stated. For the avoidance of doubt, if there is an Adjudication award made in the favour of you (the complainant), you must consent to not commencing any other action in any other forums, whether in the courts or otherwise, to claim the sums exceeding the stated sums.

    Should you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact us for clarification


Leong NW says 13 years ago

Thank you so much to you and Mr Tan Kim Lian for championing the cause of small investors .

Until I was directed to Mr Tan’s blog, I was lost as to whom should I seek advice.

Keep up the fight for all of us!

ENGEL says 13 years ago

DBS High notes at least has got more attention cos it carries the in-house brand “DBS”, that’s why DBS is more pro-active, as far as I got feedback from those who complained to them. How about other Notes ? And if not purchase from Banks are we more at risks then ?

aethra says 13 years ago

why is it that till this moment, lehman brothers (as per their faq) is still saying that this product is a bond???

are they still trying hard to fool us???

burntoast says 13 years ago


Latest Twist – MAS to banks : Appoint your own investigators!!!

From today’s Today Pg B2:

“…… companies that sold the DBS High Notes 5, Lehman Minibonds and Merrill Lynch Jubilee Series 3 LinkEarner Notes will name independent parties, as a result of a deal hammered out by MAS and the bank…”.

Why must a regulator like MAS “hammer out a deal” to get banks to name a third party to oversee its the “complaints handling process”? MAS has not even met aggrieved investors who are mostly retired ordinary Singaporeans to see what is needed for them to seek redress but it has already met the banks to negotiate this deal in which the banks will choose their own third party to handle the complaints. Investors who originally trusted these banks that sold them those products are now expected to trust the banks to appoint “independent” third parties? Did we not pay our govt enough to meet ordinary Singaporean investors collectively to help them resolve this? Where is the leadership??!!

Among the first thing the HK govt did was to meet the investors to hear them out. The next thing they did was to initiate an investigation into mis-selling: [Link]. Singaporeans you did not pay your govt enough to do all this for you!!!

    burntoast says 13 years ago

    I think Lucky Tan has neatly skewered MAS for its disgraceful performance vs HKMA’s robust actions. MAS seem to be siding with the perpetrators instead of the victims.

Sunbird says 13 years ago

How could the trustee say “They are unable to comment on why the substitution was made, nor are they aware of any changes to the entities”?

In that back-dated letter, it said that “the Trustee is
satisfied that such substitution is not materially prejudicial to the interests of the relevant Noteholders and has agreed to such substitution”.

Would like to have your comments

Jan says 13 years ago


Channel News Asia (CNA) wants to interview investors of the Minibonds and High Notes to gather feedback on investors’ reaction to the statement released by MAS (in the papers today).

Ideally they would like to film this interview, but are also willingly to do it over the phone.

We need volunteers for the camera interview. Please contact me at if you are willingly to help.

We hope people will step and be more pro-active. The more news and TV coverage we have, the better !!

If you know of other victims who are agreeable to do the camera interview, please ask them to call me.

CNA wants to do this ASAP, preferably before 8pm today. So please hurry and contact me.

Thanks !

Danny says 13 years ago

In Lehman Singapore’s FAQ, they are still calling it “bonds” when they are in fact not bonds. As such, I’m really wondering if the FAQ document is genuine.

Tiang says 13 years ago

“With regards to the substitution of underlying securities that took place for series 1, 2 and 3, the letter dated 15 August was not sent out by them but by the issuer. They are unable to comment on why the substitution was made, nor are they aware of any changes to the entities.”

I am a minibondholder of series 1, 2 and 3 but I did not receive any letter regarding any switching of securities. Can you post a copy online? Thanks very much.

Kenneth says 13 years ago

From my 15 Aug letter, I assume Minibond 1,2 & 3 has a total of USD227 mil. Newspaper report says is half a billions. I believe Hong Kong and Japan has more minibond then us.

a) Has the 9FIs talking to HongKong & Japan banks for an alignment of issues?
b) Is MAS or 9FIs or HSBC interested to fly over to Minibond Pte Ltd to discuss or see whether Minibond Pte Ltd is a fruit cake stall or a high class office. Cheaper version is telconference.

I guess these have been done but no one seems to want to update us. Maybe Minibond Pte is not contactable now. Wonder whether we can call them and ask.

goondu says 13 years ago

Thanks lioninvestor for sharing what you have, greatly appreciated.

Do continue to share here as I am an idiot and goondu investor who known nuts on what will happen next.

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