In Banks, Financial competency on 19/08/2012 at 5:57 am
Chief Justice Chan Sek Keong said in a written judgment: “In the light of the many allegations made against many financial institutions for ‘mis-selling’ complex financial products to linguistically and financially illiterate and unwary customers during the financial crisis in 2008, it may be desirable for the courts to reconsider whether financial institutions should be accorded full immunity for such ‘misconduct’ by relying on non-reliance clauses which unsophisticated customers might have been induced or persuaded to sign without truly understanding their potential legal effect on any form of misconduct or negligence on the part of the relevant officers in relation to the investment recommended by them.”
In Financial competency, Media on 17/08/2012 at 8:52 am
(I’m reporting this as our constructive, nation-building media only reported this story very briefly when it became public last week. Wonder why?)
“Morgan Stanley secretly, deceptively and wrongfully invested the investors’ principal in very risky underlying assets,” according to the complaint.
The investments were described to Heong Leong as synthetic collateralized debt obligations based on the performance of major corporations and sovereign nations with high credit ratings, according to the complaint.
Morgan Stanley instead tied the notes to much riskier investments in real estate-related companies and troubled Icelandic banks, including Glitnir Bank HF and Kaupthing Bank HF.
Morgan Stanley issued the notes through a special-purpose entity it controlled called Pinnacle. Italso positioned to profit when the notes failed because it had entered into swap transactions with the noteholders through another affiliated entity, Morgan Stanley Capital Services Inc.
“When Morgan Stanley’s ’rigged’ underlying assets failed, money from customers was transferred to MS Capital,” Hong Leong said in the complaint.
In Investments on 04/11/2011 at 7:37 am
A US court has decided that it would hear a lawsuit brought by Pinnacle Notes’ investors (see below for extract of BT report). It ruled that “generalised warnings of risk and of the possibility of adverse interests” between Morgan Stanley and the Pinnacle Notes investors were not sufficient to protect Morgan Stanleyagainst all allegations of fraud.
Meanwhile the S’pore court of appeal has told DBS High Notes 5 investors to bugger-off: “In view of our decision in this appeal, we think it apposite and timely to remind the general public that, under the law of contract, a person who signs a contract which is set out in a language he is not familiar with or whose terms he may not understand is nonetheless bound by the terms of that contract … The principle of caveat emptor applies equally to literates and illiterates.”
Wonder why the investors never alleged fraud by DBS? The S’porean legal system (like that of the English) requires a very high standard of proof if the plantiffs’ allege fraud. And if they fail to prove fraud, the consequences for the plaintiffs can be very serious in monetary terms. The US system is a lot more lax.
Poor DBS HN5 investors: their Hongkie cousins were treated better by DBS http://atans1.wordpress.com/2010/08/06/what-abt-high-notes-sm-goh/
Read the rest of this entry »