Investors petition Mrs Lim Hwee Hua

As posted on Tan Kin Lian’s blog:

This Petition has been sent to Mr. Albert Tan to forward to Mrs. Lim Hwee Hua. It contains 127 signatures (collected within 12 hours).

20 October 2008


Mrs. Lim Hwee Hua
Senior Minister of State
Ministry of Finance
Dear Mrs. Lim,

Give Fair and Equal Treatment to All Buyers

As you are aware, a large number of us investors have been wrongly led to part with our life long savings for structured products eg Minibond, High Note and others which are not suitable for our class of investors. By the standard of professional investment managers, not more than 10% of a person’s saving should be invested in high risk products.

In this saga, banks have persuaded most investors to part with a large part, if not all, of their life savings. The true nature of their products covered up by diverting attention to reference entities of large reputable banks when infact such products viability is hinged on swapped CDOs (collatoral debt obligations) details for which are not allowed to be released even after a default has happened.

How can banks be allowed to sell financial products without revealing the specifications of the underlying securities? How can they be allowed to refuse investors from knowing the true underlying securities even after the product has failed? It is more than a “mis-representation”. It is a deliberate attempt to fool even the most savy investor including possibly MAS as otherwise MAS would not have registered the products. How can a structured product be called a bond? The word “Minibond” itself is inappropriate.

Now MAS has openly stated that those above 55 years and non-English speaking gets priority in compensation. The FIs will jump onto this and interprete it to mean something akin to modern day Robin Hood: take from A and pay to B. Those outside the “favored category” will suffer a double injustice.

Mrs. Lim, on our behalf, please advise MAS to re-state their position to ensure that the FIs grant fair and equal compensation to all the buyers of these toxic products irrespective of age or education level. Education only becomes a factor if language is the problem. In this case, even a university graduate will not be able to discover the true nature of the products.

(Particulars of 127 signatories)

The Petition is drafted by Albert Tan. He will organise a group of signatories to meet with Mrs Kim Hwee Hua. If you are willing to join him, please send an email to him at [email protected].


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