Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Record Turnout At Speakers' Corner

Many retirees, small-time retail investors, have been badly burnt by the current credit crunch, which caused their savings accumulated over the decades, wiped out by the collapse of Lehman Brothers.

Speakers' Corner, which usually sees only a few kittens (小猫两三只) among its audience when there is someone making a speech, has seen record turnouts over the past few weekends as former CEO of NTUC Income Insurance Co-Operative, Mr Tan Kin Lian, made speeches against financial institutions that have sold the high-risk mini bonds to small-time retirees, retail investors, who can ill-afford to lose their hard-earned savings.

The sales representatives of these institutions are guilty of fraudulent misrepresentation when they sold these high-risk structured investment products to the retail investors, claiming that the mini bonds were not risky investments.

These retail investors can’t be judged as being greedy since they were clueless about the structured products which the salesmen sold them. The salesmen told them mini bonds can earn high return and bluffed that they were not risky, so the retirees bought the mini bonds loh. Afterall, all they wanted was to get a higher return from investing their savings. This money could have been meant for their children’s tertiary education, their own retirement nest-egg. Now it’s all gone.

These poor retirees can only hope against hope they can get a fraction of their money back.


Blogger Lunch is Served! said...

Actually hor, I think I'm really lucky because I can't make up my mind. When I was at Maybank to close a fixed account about a month or so ago, they did ask me to buy Minibonds. But I can't make up my mind on how much to buy, so I thought I would go home and discuss with H. But H was too busy and I sort of forgot about it. Then, suddenly Lehman collapsed. Heng ah...

Wednesday, October 22, 2008 at 10:17:00 PM GMT+8  
Blogger Mockingbird said...

To LIS: Thank God you didn't lose your money to the high-risk mini bonds :)

Thursday, October 23, 2008 at 9:06:00 AM GMT+8  
Blogger Lunch is Served! said...

The people at Maybank weren't very pushy mah. When I said I needed to think about it, they didn't flash a parang at me and force me to sign. They did call me now and then to ask how's things, but I always tell them I will call them when I'm ready.

I think it really depends on the customer. If it's an old aunty or uncle, they think harass and will not get any complaints, they will push to the limit. But when it comes to customers like me who are obvious educated and look out-spoken, they will try softly. But still have to try right?

Thursday, October 23, 2008 at 9:42:00 AM GMT+8  
Blogger Mockingbird said...

To LIS: These salespeople will do anything to earn the commission. The unscruplous ones have no gripes whatsoever about conning uneducated retirees into using their hard-earned savings for investing in high-risk crap products like mini bonds.

Even a fool would know that an uneducated retiree is highly risk-averse and should never buy such crap products with their life savings.

Thursday, October 23, 2008 at 4:07:00 PM GMT+8  
Blogger QuaChee said...

ya i read, it sure is a record. the ntu one also did draw a crowd heh. speakers corner turning to something good :) btw my heart goes to the retirees. really poor thing. hope something can be done for them.

Friday, October 24, 2008 at 2:50:00 PM GMT+8  
Blogger Mockingbird said...

To Quachee: Some banks have already come out to assure its uneducated customers 62 years and above that the bank will return them the principal plus interest.

Now those who had above primary education and below 62 are crying foul. They want the bank to compensate as well because they have been mis-sold the mini bond high risk structured products as well.

Friday, October 24, 2008 at 4:56:00 PM GMT+8  
Blogger QuaChee said...

wow, i didnt know it was only for the above 62. i thought its for all. let's see what happens.

Saturday, October 25, 2008 at 12:56:00 AM GMT+8  
Blogger Happysurfer said...

My! That is so sad - to be losing hard-earned savings.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008 at 12:47:00 PM GMT+8  

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