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Ah Hai
19-12-2008, 11:25 PM
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Survey by FISCA - Financial Services Consumer Association
A pro-tem committee has been formed to plan the launch of FISCA (Financial Services Consumer Association).

The aims of FISCA are to eduate consumers on financial matters, help them to find the suitable financial products and to assist them on seeking redress on mis-selling and other complaints.

Are you interested to join FISCA? What are the services that you like to use? How much are you willing to pay towards the cost of running FISCA? Should FISCA be independent of funding by the business and Government?

Give your views in this survey:
http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=NDbqLl_2bU_2bb6xxaIjGarfOw_3d_3d
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 6:07 AM

Ah Hai
19-12-2008, 11:26 PM
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Cost of banks
One year ago, Royal Bank of Scotland paid US$100 billion for ABN Amro.

Today, this sum could buy:
Citibank $22.5 billion (74% down)
Morgan Stanley $10.5 billion (-72%)
Goldman Sachs $21 billion (-67%)
Merril Lynch $12.3 billion (-77%)
Deutsche Bank $13 billion (-71%)
Barclays $12.7 billion (-71%)
... and leave a balance of $8 billion:
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 7:00 AM

Ah Hai
19-12-2008, 11:28 PM
Saturday, December 20, 2008
California Governor order 2 day Unpaid Leave
www.bloomberg.com

By Michael B. Marois
Dec. 19 (Bloomberg) -- California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger may force all state workers to take two days of unpaid leave each month to conserve money amid a record budget deficit and a legislative impasse over how to fix it.

The furloughs would begin in February and would last through June 1010, according to labor union officials who said they were briefed by the administration earlier today.

MY VIEW
This is an excellent way to deal with a downturn. Take unpaid leave, which applies to all employees!
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 7:14 AM

Ah Hai
20-12-2008, 04:03 AM
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Letter of confidentiality
Dear Mr. Tan,

The bank wishes to meet me on my complaint and asked me to sign the following letter of confidentiality. What is your view?

CONFIDENTIALITY UNDERTAKING

We refer to the meeting scheduled to take place today (“the Meeting”).
We agree that the Meeting will be held on a Without Prejudice basis.
By our signature of a copy of this letter we agree as follows:

1. We undertake:
a. not to record the proceedings or discussions during the Meeting (however we may take our own written notes during the meeting);
b. except as otherwise required by law, to keep the Confidential Information confidential and not to disclose it to anyone or use it for any purpose without our express written consent;
c. to ensure that the Confidential Information is protected from unauthorised disclosure or use.

2. We agree to inform you (to the extent permitted by law) of the full circumstances of any disclosure or upon becoming aware that Confidential Information has been disclosed.

3. The obligations in this letter shall survive the termination of any discussions or negotiations between the Bank and us.

4. We acknowledge and agree that each of the Bank and/or Related Person (defined to mean Bank’s officers, directors, employees, professional advisers or any of the Bank’s affiliates) may be granted an injunction or specific performance for any threatened or actual breach of the provisions of this letter by you.

5. No failure or delay in exercising any right, power or privilege under this letter will operate as a waiver.

6. The undertakings given by us under this letter are given to the Bank and also for the benefit of each Related Person. We shall keep the Bank and each Related Person fully and effectively indemnified on demand against each and every claim, loss, liability and cost which the Bank and/or a Related Person may suffer or incur as a result of any breach of the provisions of this Letter.

7. If the Account is held in the name of more than one person, our obligations under this letter are joint and several.

8. In this letter "Confidential Information" means without limitation, all discussions, statements, materials, information, document and records in whatever form and any material derived or copied therefrom concerning the Customer, Account, services by the Bank, transactions with the Bank, and any other matters in relation thereto disclosed or furnished to us before, during or after the Meeting, as well as the fact discussions are taking place, that the Meeting is held, that further discussions may be contemplated, and that this confidentiality letter has been entered into.

REPLY
I suggest that you ask the bank to agree that the same conditions stated in the letter of confidentiality should apply to their side as well. It reflects fairness and natural justice. If not, you should not sign this undertaking.
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 8:38 AM

Ah Hai
20-12-2008, 10:53 PM
8 Comments

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The writer should know the % of compenastion before signing. I heard someone's offer is only 1%.

Zhong

10:55 AM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Even in their death throes, the banks foreign management are still at it, i.e., still trying to dish out webs of legal thrash to protect its interest and tie up its customers. This adversarial approach is the cause of its undoing. Instead of repenting, it sinks deeper into drawing a coarse line between customer and itself, and is trying its best to go for win for itself and lose for its customers. So when hot air meets cold air, there is alot of mist, which obscures vision and leads to a thriving hotbed of disease and decay, all thanks to these greedy and selfish "management talents".

11:23 AM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Friends,

I have questions relating this "Letter of Confidentiality". My understanding is that "MAS advocates the complaint review be based on principles of fairness rather than taking strict legal position".

Q1. Is the Confidentiality Letter contravenes the principle set by MAS "to avoid strict legality"?

Q2. Should the bank refrain from unnec legality, as MAS stipulated that principle of fairnesss is the basis for complaint handling.

Q3. The Confidentiality Letter actually bars the aggrieved from seeking help from friends; while the FI can seek legal help. Is this fair?

Q4. The Confidentiality Letters bars the taking of official notes. Without the right to take official notes, how can the aggrieved move to step 2 (go to FiDREC), if he is not happy with step 1 (ie go to FI). Is this fair?

Q5. Can this "unfair" Confidentiality Letter be taken up by WHOEVER who is ensuring the proper handling of the complaint process.

Q6. Is it legally wrong to have the Confidentiality Letter? This is bec if mis-rep or mis-selling is involved, that means potentially contravening the Act.
For example, do you think we can sign a Confidentiality Letter with the thief who has stolen my car, so that hopefully the thief would return the car? Do you think the police will allow me to do it?

12:08 PM
Anonymous SB said...

I was not asked to sign any such written letter in my interview. I only signed on the statement prepared by the interviewer on what I said at the interview after I had vetted it and agreed. As the interview is very much a one-way account from the complainant's perspective, the bank's said document is not necessary and could be against the complainant interest and right in future. The interviewers were there just to take your statement as they are not the ones to assess and decide on your complaint and did not have any prior contact with the complainant.

1:17 PM
Anonymous Wilson said...

This letter of undertaking is ridiculous and one-sided, protecting only the bank with only disadvantage to the signor. This bank is typically kiasu and kiasi. I sense the intention of that bank fishy.

I have attended meeting with the bank whick sold me the structured notes but was not required to sign such letter. Notes of the meeting were taken on the spot in proper form classified as privileged and confidential and I signed the form only after reading the notes and clarified certain points with the bank officer.

1:40 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you even keen to meet?

Or you dont want a cent now

if you are giving up, inform the rest, so we all get our chance

4:23 PM
Blogger Concerned said...

Since you are the one making the complaint(plaintiff), the bank should be the one signing this confidential letter and not you.

11:57 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You will be crazy to sign such letter. Do note that this letter could be written in the press positively as statistic of how the FI have attended to the victim even though nothing is resolved, or even use as excuse that the matter is resolved for this interviewed investor since you cannot disclose such info and talk about it, you are explicitly giving them the permission to do whatever they want to you.
So don't be foolish to sign such letter, else you will regret.

1:46 AM

Ah Hai
20-12-2008, 10:54 PM
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Mis-selling of ILPs in the UK
From TKL: I have not been able to accuracy of this information yet.

Dear Mr. Tan

According to one writer, these type of products (ILPs) were designed and sold in the UK in the 1980's & 1990's. A super regulator was brought in called the FSA to clean up an industry that to date has paid compensation to investors in the UK who have lost money in the region of GBP 15,000,000,000 (billion) using these exact same products. That is why they are now 'offshore' so insurance companies can continue to sell these very profitable products in poorly regulated markets in Asia.

Now that they cannot sell in UK or US, they come to Asia and other developing markets like UAE to sell. A foreign insurer sells this plan in Singapore as an offshore product, and MAS is clearing not supervising these offshore insurers. They will bring great harm to our people.

Thanks for your help.

GT
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 1:40 PM
3 comments:

Anonymous said...

The post is not accurate. In fact, a significant amount of investment products sold in UK and Europe are ILPs.

- From an insider.
2:23 PM
Anonymous said...

These products are the universal life and variable universal life variants of whole life. Rip off has taken new forms and local insurance companies are pushing them as kind of revolutionary products.A company will be lauching soon. There will be more miss-selling and misrepresentation because commission is big and customers will be ripped off big too. The insurance agents will be bolder to tell lies and adopt poker face when telling them.
Consumers, you will play an important role to see these products are nipped in the bud before allowed to rear their ugly heads.
2:56 PM
Anonymous said...

Dont know about ILP's but this is a very accurate story for Land Banking. They bring these products to Asia after being shut out of the UK and sell them to relatively unsophisticated investors.
8:45 PM

Ah Hai
20-12-2008, 10:55 PM
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Surveys
Please take part in these surveys:

1. FISCA - Funancial Services Consumer Assocation
2. Compensation for Credit Linked Notes
3. Regular visitors to Tan Kin Lian's Blog
4. Collect 100,000 signatures
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 2:18 PM

Ah Hai
20-12-2008, 10:56 PM
2 Comments

Blogger VS Lingam said...

There seems to be something wrong with the surveys by SurveyMonkey. After I fill in the survey form and submit, I get a confirmation msg:-

"Thanks for Taking the Survey. Looking to Create Your Own?"

This is normal.

When another survey respondent uses my PC to submit his response to the same survey, he is unable to get to the survey form. Instead he gets the confirmation msg:-

"Thanks for Taking the Survey. Looking to Create Your Own?"

Looks like SurveyMonkey only allows one response for a survey from each PC. Can the survey creator pls look into this problem? Tks.

8:06 PM
Blogger Tan Kin Lian said...

Hi VS Lingam

Survey Moneky sets a limit of one survey per PC. They want to avoid the same person (PC) submitting many responses. This is their limitation. We have to respect it.

4:08 AM

Ah Hai
20-12-2008, 10:58 PM
Sunday, December 21, 2008
FISCA Survey Results (1)
Here is a preliminary summary of the first 20 responses to the FISCA Survey.

1. FISCA should get most of its fundings from members to remain independent and act in the interest of members: Agree 65%, Disagree 20% Neutral 15%

2. FISCA should avoid advertisements and sponsorships from financial institutions: Agree 75%, Disagree 15%, Neutral 10%

3. Should FISCA get funding from Government? Yes 20%, Special projects only 35%, Avoid 25%, No opinion 20%

4. Should FISCA encourage members to spend time and be educated about financial matters? Yes 90%, No 10%

5. How much should the annual subscription be? $36 56%, $48 22%, $60 or $120 22%
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 4:28 AM

Ah Hai
21-12-2008, 04:40 AM
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Madoff Clients - New York Times
Hi Tan,

Appreciate you publish in your blog.
http://projects.nytimes.com/creditcrisis/madoff_clients/table

Larry

Ah Hai
21-12-2008, 04:42 AM
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Unilateral changes to DBS Schroder LiveSure 2025 fund
Dear Mr. Tan,

I have recently received a notice from DBS on behalf of Schroder Investment Management (Singapore) Ltd that they plan to alter the product characteristics of the DBS Schroder LiveSure 2025 fund to the disadvantage of the consumers. The changes contravene the purpose and the way the fund was marketed to us, as ordinary small investors.

We are given 3 choices moving ahead and I feel none of them are reasonable to any sane human. I want to share this news and urge those who are facing similar situation not concede to any of their 3 proposed options, which might not be in your interest.

If you feel this is of worthy mention, please help post this on your blog.

Colin Ho

Background
This fund is marketed in their brochures as “a unique retirement solution that aims to achieve superior long term risk-adjusted returns through an actively-managed multi-asset portfolio of mutual funds.”.

The brochure clearly states these key benefits:
1. Principal protection upon maturity
2. Exposure to a well-balanced portfolio managed by Schroders Multi-Asset Team
3. Profit lock-in mechanism.
This is designed to raise your level of principal protection at maturity. Any gains achieved by the Fund will be locked in each week, ensuring that the fund’s highest NAV will be locked in as target min NAV level for your investment upon maturity in year 2025.
4. Automatic re-balancing mechanism.
The portfolio will automatically become more conservative with lower expected volatility and risk as the target date draws near.

What we understood
From the way DBS and Schroder has marketed it, was that the fund is for retirement purpose with maturity in 2025. The NAV will swing along the way but over the next 20+ years, it’s likely the NAV will go beyond 1.00 and this higher NAV will be locked in and if we hold the fund till maturity in 2025, we’ll enjoy this “locked-in” NAV.

What has happened
Just 8 months after I subscribed to the fund, Schroder, through DBS, sent us a letter saying the fund was monetised stating that: “The last 6 months have seen dramatic falls in asset values caused primarily by the credit crunch. In addition, we have witnessed a fall in long term SGD interest rates from 4.50% to the 2.6% we see today.”....”we reached the point where the assets of the Fund were sufficient only to purchase instruments (safe portfolio) that would be expected to deliver the target protection level on the Maturity Date. We therefore invested the Funds assets into such instruments on Monday 24th November 2008”.

We are now given 3 choices:
1. Stay invested in the Fund. Unit trust investors can choose to stay invested in the Fund which is primarily invested in SGD government bonds. At maturity, investors are expected to receive the NAV of $1.0004, subject to the risks abovementioned in section 7.
2. Switch into another Schroder fund distributed by DBS. Investors can choose to switch their existing units into any other Schroder fund distributed by DBS, The switching fee will be waived. 3. Redeem their units at the prevailing NAV. Please note that the Manage will continue to publish weekly NAVs for the Fund, which may be different from the current NAV of S$0.6932 (as at 19 November 2008).

Investor is subject to option #1 as the default option if they do not decide.

What’s Wrong?
In my opinion, they’re now trying to unilaterally alter the product behaviour and go against what they have sold to consumers. Being a retirement fund with maturity date in 2025, how can they, within just 8 months of launch, say the profit lock-in mechanism can no longer support a NAV beyond $1.0004. As a long term investor, I understand the volatility of the markets and am willing to ride the downs and look forward to the ups in the next 26 years. But these people are telling me sorry, at best they can pay me a NAV of $1.0004 (with no guarantee) in year 2025! Essentially, they are trying to modify key benefits #3 and #4 listed above to their advantage.

With these changes, the product is substantially different from how it was marketed to me.

The options to consumers are equally ridiculous. The 1st option is asking the investor to remain status quo till maturity in 26 years time. And for that, the investor will be rewarded with NAV $0.0004 return but with all their caveats that tells you it’s not guaranteed. The 2nd option is asking the investor to sell it at current NAV (i.e. make loss of close to 50%) and buy another Schroder fund. The 3rd option is the worst: asking investor to sell it at current NAV, make a loss, and we part ways.

I feel DBS and Schroder could have put in greater efforts to protect consumers’ interest. And unlike the case of the mini bonds, the DBS Schroder LiveSure 2025 fund doesn’t involve default. But yet, they are asking consumers to accept unreasonable draconian actions which would mostly inflict financial losses.

I am seeking refund, from the bank, the full amount I’ve invested. I urge other investors to exercise your rights and not opt in to any of their 3 proposed options.

Colin Ho

Survey:
http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=7adJB4Ub4k7OqUE8YLkzkg_3d_3d

Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 5:47 AM
4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Isn't this how NTUC Income operates too? First get honest to goodness Tan Kin Lian to helm it. Then when enough policyholders over 30 years believe in this man and put all their savings and hopes in the policies of NTUC Income with their reputation for being conservative and for the welfare of policyholders.
Then suddenly retire Tan KL and put in a Malaysian who soon got his foreign friends in. Fired alot of local Singaporeans, at least one of them eventually died and was reported in a blog, see link:
http://akhiat.blogspot.com/2008/12/another-close-comrade-passed-away.html
Then began the party as meetings are held in posh hotels, expensive chairs costing S$40,000 were purchased and renovations started to make it all nice and comfortable. Then came the cut in annual bonus and the rest is history. Tried contacting the CEO but sorry, he is too important and busy to talk with you.
What are the options?
1. Remain with them and see your returns dwindle.
2. Switch to another policy and lose all accumulated bonuses and pay for all the high charges all over again. Hey, at least Colin get a waiver of fees.
3. Surrender your policies and immediately realised any loss.

Isn't this the same style? Now, I wonder who copied from who? But one thing I am sure, those who approved this idea are foreigners.
10:34 AM
Wayangnologist said...

"I feel [Banks] could have put in greater efforts to protect consumers’ interest."



I actually laugh when i came to this!


So much effort was spent doping people with their cash pile in on false hope, what makes one think they would spend equal or more effort PROTECTING THEM hahaha!?
11:44 AM
Wayangnologist said...

"I am seeking refund, from the bank, the full amount I’ve invested."



This might not get posted, but it does set anyone wondering if theres is a wind of 'REFUNDS' these days
11:46 AM
Anonymous said...

DBS is a screwed up bank.

Don't waste time with them !

Chao

Ah Hai
21-12-2008, 04:43 AM
Sunday, December 21, 2008
An adviser's view about the V plan
Dear Mr. Tan,

Our company allows commission to be paid annualised upfront. For instance, if the client pays a cheque for the first month's premium of $3,200, our company will receive around $40,000 in commission. It's then split between company and advisor. That's why many advisors are selling this plan.

They sell it as investment. But the clients never realise that they for a contract of say 25 years, they are not able to surrender it in 3, 5 or 7 years. They will be penalised heavily.

But I believe the biggest con job of this is that they prey on the greed of people. The reason why advisors can sell big premiums and long tenure is because of the so-called 'bonus' allocation. The longer the term, the higher the 'bonus'. Last time the 'bonus' was 62.5%, now they even up it to 87.5%.

The clients got carried away by their greed. No doubt the 'bonus' is 87.5%, but it's only nominal. The clients thought they could immediately cash out 87.5% of gain from their first year of investment. But they forgot that this is an insurance contract, and they need to 'finish' the whole term to avoid heavy penalty. But sadly, once they got into this plan, they are already in for a huge loss and a bleak future.

Many people who bought this won't be able to 'finish' the plan, The insurer understands this. This is a win-win for the insurer and the advisors, but a BIG lose-lose for the clients and their families.

As this plan is only being distributed in Singapore for 3 years or so, I can expect more news of people surrendering, especially in this tough economic environment.

The insurer even allows premium to be paid using credit card. I heard of quite a number of people surrendering, but chose to keep quite.

Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 5:56 AM
1 comments:

Anonymous said...

greed of people
11:30 AM

Ah Hai
21-12-2008, 04:44 AM
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Survey: Vista Plan from Zurich
If you have bought the Vista plan from Zurich and have not been properly advised about this investment plan, please take part in this survey:
http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=CAseR9wBBoKnR9o_2bzWa8PQ_3d_3d
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 6:09 AM

Ah Hai
21-12-2008, 04:45 AM
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Survey: DBS Schroder LiveSure 2025 fund
If you wish to join Colin Ho in opposing the change to the fund and to reject the three options, take part in this survey:

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=7adJB4Ub4k7OqUE8YLkzkg_3d_3d
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 6:20 AM
1 comments:

Anonymous said...

Is it right to go around rejecting products?
11:28 AM

Ah Hai
21-12-2008, 04:47 AM
Sunday, December 21, 2008
The Disadvantages of an Elite Education
Contributed by Ho Cheow Seng

Our best universities have forgotten that the reason they exist is to make minds, not careers.
By William Deresiewicz
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 6:40 AM
1 comments:

Wayangnologist said...

Our best universities GRADUATES have forgotten that the reason they are elected is to make a difference to the lives of the people they serve, NOT TO THEIR POLITICAL CAREERS.
11:27 AM

Ah Hai
21-12-2008, 04:48 AM
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Barclay CEO apologies

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7793035.stm

Mr Varley also told the BBC that the banking industry was going through what he called a "public relations crisis" and must apologise for what went wrong. "We have to have a banking industry in which consumers have trust and in some cases that trust has broken down," he said.

"If I ask myself, 'Do I feel the industry should be self-confident about recreating that trust through time?' I do feel that, but it starts by saying sorry. "It starts by admitting things went wrong."

He said he hoped his own bank was one of those in which customers still had trust. But he went on: "If you look at the industry as a whole, if I speak as a member of the industry rather than as chief executive of Barclays, I absolutely have to say we should share our portion of responsibility."

Our correspondent said Mr Varley was not the first senior banker to admit failings. In November, Royal Bank of Scotland chairman Sir Tom McKillop said he was "profoundly sorry" for his company's financial difficulties.
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 6:59 AM
1 comments:

Wayangnologist said...

AH!

They will offer apologies!


BUT NOT REFUNDS.
11:53 AM

Ah Hai
21-12-2008, 04:49 AM
Sunday, December 21, 2008
FISCA Survey Results (2)
20 people responded to the survey.

> The expressed interest in the following services:
> Educate members on financial products through website 100.0%
> Advice members on mis-selling and unethical products 100.0%
> Recommend suitable financial products 84.2%
> Advice members on insurance claims 73.7%
> Hold educational talks (at a modest charge) 68.4%
> Advice members on service contracts, e.g. telcos 63.2%
> Provide advice through a hotline 57.9%
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 9:06 AM

Ah Hai
21-12-2008, 04:51 AM
Sunday, December 21, 2008
FISCA - the proposed approach
65% of respondents like FISCA to get most of its funding from its members, to remain independent and act in the interest of consumers. 75% prefer to avoid getting advertisement and sponsorship from financial institutions. 20% welcome funding from Government for general expenses, and 35% for special projects.

90% feel that FISCA should encourage members to spend time to learn about financial matters.
56% like the subscription to be $36 per year; the remainder are willing to pay a higher subscription.

Proposed approach
We will set up FISCA with an annual subscription of $36.

Members are encouraged to log in each week and read the newsletter, educational and research materials. and assessment test.

Additional services will be provided to members at a modest fee:

a) Handle complaint on mis-selling
b) Handle complaints on insurance claims
c) Attend educational talk
d) Simple financial planning advice
e) Buying of recommended financial products

FISCA will encourage members to pay a modest fee for advice and service. This will save them several thousand dollars in paying the hidden charges embedded in financial products, such as life insurance and structured products. More importantly, members can avoid losing their capital in risky products that are not properly disclosed to them.

An important task for FISCA members is to spend time and be educated about financial matters and to make the correct decisions. FISCA will help members to achieve this goal by providing the relevant materials for members. FISCA will use as much volunteers as possible, but some full time staff have to be engaged for the research and administration.

It is important that FISCA should have funds to carry out their work. I hope that more members will come forward and be willing to pay a subscription to make it possible for FISCA to be effective in its work. Do not expect it for free.
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 9:12 AM
1 comments:

Anonymous said...

It is important that the management staff or committee members of the association does not work with any financial institutions in order to remain neutral.

Ah Hai
21-12-2008, 04:54 AM
Sunday, December 21, 2008 Are you willing to join FISCA (financial services consumer association) at an anual subscription of $36 (see blog for more details)

Surveys
Participate in the surveys shown at the top of the right panel.
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 7:25 PM

http://tankinlian.blogspot.com/2008/12/surveys_21.html
1 comments:

singaporeshortstories.blogspot.com said...

Hi Mr Tan,

How is the $36 amount derived?

Thanks!
11:58 AM

Ah Hai
21-12-2008, 10:36 PM
Monday, December 22, 2008
Seasons Greetings and best wishes for 2009
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Ah Hai
22-12-2008, 06:42 AM
Monday, December 22, 2008
Join FISCA for $36
82 people replied to the poll. 65% are willing to join FISCA for an annual subscription of $36. Some people think that this rate is too low and are willing to contribute up to $60 or $120 to get better services.

35% do not wish to join FISCA. Among them are the insurance agents and relationship managers who feel that FISCA may affect the way that they do business now. The other respondents prefer to have the services for free, if possible.

I wish to encourage Singaporeans to be willing to pay a modest fee for service and advice. By spending some money, you can save a lot of money that is taken away through hidden charges (e.g. $2,000 or more on a typical financial contract) or can cause you to lose your entire principle (e.g. high risk credit linked notes).

Be willing to invest time and money to be educated. You can be much better off!
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 8:09 AM

Ah Hai
22-12-2008, 09:50 AM
8 Comments

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, $36 is peanuts considering the wealth of information you can get from the association. You will also save a lot of money from mistakes and wrong products that you might have bought from the greedy insurance agents or RMs. It might serve as the first line of defence for many against the unscrupulous agents.
Insurance agents and RMs may not join and will discourage you from joining because it is right HERE that their misdeeds and sinister intentions and incompetence will be uncovered and for some their career may be in jeopardy .
The review of your policies bought many years ago may uncover the hidden secret skeletons, the dishonesty of the insurance agents. It will be their undoing. Their sins have caught up with them , so to speak.

December 22, 2008 8:30 AM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Insurance agents are afraid of this association and they are trying to sabo the formation. They know the association will expose their mis-selling and dishonesty and lack of qualification. Worst, agents who mis-sold and misrepresented their clients in the past are shivering with fear that their dishonesty will not be revealed by the review service
that the association will be providing. It is pay back time for the insurance agents.

December 22, 2008 9:01 AM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Tan,
Please tell me how join FISCA and payment method.
Thanks.
Best Regards
Wong

December 22, 2008 10:50 AM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In order to reach out and help more people, need to do some PR activities like newspaper ads to create public awareness. Like SIAS when it was setup

December 22, 2008 12:56 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Go man, go for the association. it is supposed to protect your interest from the unethical insurance agents and RMs..
Please, $36 is a paltry sum but you have much to gain.

December 22, 2008 1:31 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr Tan, thank you for your precious time to make this enlightened proposal. Merry Christmas and a happy New Year. :-)

December 22, 2008 1:33 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The pro-tem Committee may want to consider and re-write [fee(s) and other due(s)] as [The entrance fees and subscriptions shall be determined by the General Meeting on recommendation from the Committee from time to time.] Also, I cannot rule out the possibilties, which the proposed Society may fall under Normal Registration Route and shall takes average 2-months to process. See www.mha.gov.sg/ros

December 22, 2008 1:41 PM
Anonymous Ed said...

If there's a strong union looking after us workers, I'll gladly pay couple of hundred dollars to look after our welfare. Singapore's supposed to have 44 hours workweeks for its worker? Utter crap! I work 100+ hours workweeks!

Likewise, $36 on FISCA will be money well-spent for a good cause!!!

Come on, people support it! Don't wait until something like this to happen again before we regret.

December 22, 2008 6:03 PM

Ah Hai
22-12-2008, 09:51 AM
Monday, December 22, 2008
FISCA - the steps ahead
The protem committee has to finalise the work plan for the association and to submit the constitution for registration as a society. This will take one or two months to be completed.

A website will be set up during the next few weeks. You can get more information from the website when it is ready.
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 4:04 PM :oIo:

Ah Hai
22-12-2008, 09:52 AM
Monday, December 22, 2008
Thought for the Day - Democracy
Contributed by Ho Cheow Seng

My notion of democracy is that under it the weakest shall have the same opportunities as the strongest...no country in the world today shows any but patronizing regard for the weak... Western democracy, as it functions today, is diluted fascism...true democracy cannot be worked by twenty men sitting at the center. It has to be worked from below, by the people of every village." : Gandhi
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 6:43 PM

Ah Hai
22-12-2008, 09:54 AM
Monday, December 22, 2008
Seasons Greetings and best wishes for 2009
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6 Comments


Blogger Hang Lian said...

Dear Mr. Tan,

Thank you very much for your time and effort.

Wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2009.

December 22, 2008 2:05 AM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No FD, NO $, No Joy, No hope...

December 22, 2008 8:01 AM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wishing year 2009 will be better for everybody.

Jasmin

December 22, 2008 8:09 AM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Mr Tan,

Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year 2009!

I will join FSCA.

Best regards
Francis Lee

December 22, 2008 9:08 AM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for your wise advise and guidance throughout this difficult year.

I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

December 22, 2008 9:15 AM
Anonymous Wilson said...

Merry Christmas to you Mr. Tan KL and your family, as well as to all who visited your blog.

December 22, 2008 1:11 PM

Ah Hai
22-12-2008, 10:57 PM
Monday, December 22, 2008
70% willing to join FISCA
140 people participated in the poll. 70% are willing to join FISCA and pay an annual subscription of $36. The remaining 30% do not wish to join FISCA. I consider that there is good support for FISCA.
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 9:05 PM

Ah Hai
22-12-2008, 10:57 PM
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Survey - Complaint to Financial Institution
If you have made a complaint and received a decision from the financial institution, please participate in this survey:



http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=h0vhpMqXdd3WyD1uxqz7Jw_3d_3d
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 3:31 AM

Ah Hai
22-12-2008, 10:59 PM
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Survey - complaint to FIDREC
If you have made a complaint to FIDREC and have received their reply, please participate in this survey:

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=lVHW2L6lkBoIvH23Z_2bk_2fcQ_3d_3d
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 3:38 AM

Ah Hai
23-12-2008, 02:26 AM
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Survey - choosing a place to live, closeness to facilities
If you have to choose a place to live, which facilities and amenities are most important to you, to be within walking distance or a short drive?

Take part in this survey:
http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=oUSMVBqRTOeg4jVdJJ6qfA_3d_3d
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 8:40 AM

Ah Hai
23-12-2008, 02:27 AM
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Quote - President Elect Obama
Two years from now, I want the American people to be able to say,

"Government's not perfect; there are some things Obama does that get on my nerves.
But you know what?

I feel like the government's working for me.
I feel like it's accountable.
I feel like it's transparent.
I feel that I am well informed about what government actions are being taken.

I feel that this is a President and an Administration that admits when it makes mistakes and adapts itself to new information, that believes in making decisions based on facts and on science as opposed to what is politically expedient."

Those are some of the intangibles that I hope people two years from now can claim," -
Barack Obama, president-elect.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barack
http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2008/12/the-year-of-oba.html
http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1865069,00.html
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 9:45 AM

Ah Hai
23-12-2008, 10:59 PM
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Survey - choosing a place to live, closeness to facilities
If you have to choose a place to live, which facilities and amenities are most important to you, to be within walking distance or a short drive?

Take part in this survey:
http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=oUSMVBqRTOeg4jVdJJ6qfA_3d_3d
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 8:40 AM

Ah Hai
23-12-2008, 11:01 PM
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Results - Where to live (1)
Here is a summary of 52 replies to this survey. What facilities do you like to see within 0.5% of the place your live:

MRT 86%
Supermarket 71%
Food court/restaurant 67%
Wet market 54%
Shopping mall 46%
Bus interchange 40%
Medical center/ hospital 29%
Good primary school 27%
Good secondary school 21%
Sports center 19%
Community center 14%
HDB town center 12%
Any school 10%
Total (including repeats): 496%

I will use the results of this survey to compute the AQI (amenities quality index) for a housing project (i.e. condominium or neighbourhood). The index has the value of 0.0 to 9.9. An high index (9.9) indicates a place with good facilities within walking distance.
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 4:50 AM

Ah Hai
23-12-2008, 11:16 PM
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Do we need a new property portal?
A new property portal is being developed to provide the following information. Is this useful to property owners, buyers and tenants? Take part in this survey:

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=_2blkqCtac6iiy_2bzlKaDEfYw_3d_3d
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 5:33 AM

Ah Hai
24-12-2008, 03:32 AM
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Taxi booking by SMS for $1
Do you like a service to book a taxi by SMS for $1? Take part in this survey:

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=gW8OroZJ2gTNf_2fpAgkgpNQ_3d_3d
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 10:04 AM

Ah Hai
24-12-2008, 03:45 AM
PARIS - A FRENCH investment manager who ploughed 1.5 billion euros (S$3.05 billion) into Bernard Madoff's fraud-hit scheme committed suicide in his New York office on Tuesday, a friend of the victim said.

Thierry de la Villehuchet, 65, was the co-founder of Access International, a company that raised funds on European markets to invest with Madoff, the former pillar of Wall Street now accused of running a multi-billion-dollar Ponzi scheme.

One of his close friends confirmed a newspaper report that Villehuchet committed suicide early on Tuesday, saying he had spoken to an employee at the company's New York office and that police were at the scene.

Villehuchet 'could not cope with the pressure following the outbreak of the scandal', the website of La Tribune daily quoted an associate as saying.

The Frenchman was managing some two billion euros for European clients, of which three quarters had been invested with Madoff when the scandal broke, said the friend, who declined to be identified.

He said Villehuchet was 'devastated' and feared his clients would turn against him in the courts.

'Access was his whole life, and Madoff was a manager in whom he had complete trust. I lunched with him two weeks ago and he said, how lucky it was that Madoff was the only manager still doing well at the moment.'

In New York, the police department confirmed a body was recovered but did not release the man's name.

'A male, white, age 65, is deceased this morning at Access International offices on Madison avenue,' an officer said, adding that a medical examination was underway to determine the cause of death.

Prosecutors allege that Madoff, 70, has confessed to losing upward of $50 billion over years of running a pyramid scheme, where new investors were secretly fleeced to pay returns to earlier investors.

He is currently free on bail of $10 million as police continue a probe.

La Tribune's website said Villehuchet spent the past week trying 'day and night to find a way to recoup his investors' money' and that he had begun legal action in the United States against US authorities.

But 'he could not stand the hunt for culprits launched by the Europeans', his associate was quoted as saying.

'The truth is that everyone wanted to invest with Madoff, considered by everyone to be AAA, i.e. absolute security.' Married without children, Villehuchet was described as a keen sailor.

'I had known him since 1992. He was one of a kind, a very warm, hard-working man,' his friend said, describing him as 'a perfectly honest guy.' -- AFP

Ah Hai
24-12-2008, 10:59 AM
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Why MAS should handle complaints
Letter in Straits Times Forum

I REFER to the article last Thursday, 'Lehman-linked investors to get news in Jan', which reported that almost 5,000 formal complaints had been filed and that the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) was satisfied that all 10 institutions involved were reviewing complaints based on principles of fairness.

I appeal to MAS to consider taking over the handling of complaints. There are already a large number of formal complaints as the report stated. Furthermore, the final number may be higher because non-Lehman-linked complaints were not part of the 5,000 stated and many other complaints may be expected. Hence, MAS may want to take a more cautious approach when a large number of ordinary citizens are affected.

Secondly, the complaint handling process should be undertaken not only to determine fairness but also the integrity of the financial institution.

Thirdly, the process should be handled directly by an independent party. Having such a party to oversee the complaint-handling process may not be sufficient.

It should be handled by an independent party from the start. This may involve a significant investment in resources by MAS.

It is also true that MAS is not in a position to guarantee the profitability of financial products.
But, it is MAS which Singaporeans trust most to uphold the integrity of a financial institution.

Leong Kok Ho
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 3:29 PM
4 comments:

Vincent said...

"It is also true that MAS is not in a position to guarantee the profitability of financial products."

This isn't a question about profitability, it's a question about misrepresentation.
December 24, 2008 3:38 PM
Anonymous said...

Such appeals will not make any difference to how MAS handle it. Basically MAS has not changed in their approach and actions since the problems started with the Lehman collapse. We have suggestions, petitions, appeals etc but has MAS listen?

Maybe MAS has their "own" reasons to do the way they did and maybe also not convenient to tell you why their way and not your way.

So the FIs also has not progress much in resolving with the victims as can be seen a few days ago, one lone cancer striken victim even wore a placard protesting outside DBS HQ!
December 24, 2008 4:29 PM
Anonymous said...

MAS hopes that you guys lose interest and the whole thing dies a natural death.It betting on who will last.It is not interest in regulating.
December 24, 2008 5:10 PM
Anonymous said...

They shd, but do not want to.
What can u do?
December 24, 2008 6:02 PM

Ah Hai
24-12-2008, 11:01 AM
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Strong interest in the Property Indicators (AMP, AQI)
17 people responded to the survey on the new property portal.

100% said that they are interested in the AMP (adjusted market price) which is calculated based on the latest 10 transactions for the project, adjusted to reflect the the current market price (i.e. taking into account the change in market since the date of transaction). 94% said that this is a useful indication of the market price for the property.

81% are interested in the AQI (amenities quality index) that shows the amenities within 0.5 km (i.e. walking distance) of the property.

100% said that a comparision of the AQI and AMP for similar properties in the same location is useful. 81% said that they are willing to pay $20 for a property report that shows, among others, the details of the recent transactions and the nearby amenities.

I wish to explain that the AMP is an average for the property. It needs to be adjusted to reflect the height, facing and size of a particular property. I hope that buyers and sellers will find this indicator to be useful, with the limitations as disclosed. As this is just an indicator, it should not replace the judgement of a professional valuer in deciding on the value of the property.

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=_2blkqCtac6iiy_2bzlKaDEfYw_3d_3d
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 3:49 PM

Ah Hai
24-12-2008, 11:02 AM
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Results - survey on SMS booking of taxi for $1
31 people responded to the survey. Here are the key findings

1. Are you interested to use this service during the off-peak hours, when taxis are easily available?
Yes - I will pay $1 for the taxi to come to my home or office: 58.1%
No - I prefer to stop a taxi on the road and save $1: 41.9%

2. To use this service, you send a zone code (2 digit) to the server. This is the first 2 digit of the postal code. You can refer to a card that shows the zone code for different areas. Is this convenient?
Yes - it is easy: 67.7%
No - it is complicated: 32.3%

3. This service require the taxi to call you by mobile phone. Is this acceptable to you?
Yes - I prefer to talk directly to the taxi driver: 71.0%
No - I prefer to talk to a call center: 29.0%

4. If a taxi is available, you will be receive a SMS within 1 minute and a call by the taxi within 3 minutes. Is this acceptable?
Yes - this is excellent: 80.0%
No - I do not like to talk to the taxi driver: 20.0%

5. If a taxi is not available, you will be placed on the waiting list for 10 minutes for a taxi to call in. If none, you will be removed from the waiting list. Is this acceptable?
Yes - I am willing to wait: 35.5%
No - I do not like this method: 64.5%

6. If you wish to cancel your request, you can send the code 00 to the server. Otherwise, your request will be automatically removed after 10 minutes. Is this convenient?
Yes - I find it acceptable: 67.7%
No - I do not like this method: 32.3%

7. The chance of getting a taxi depends on supply and demand. You are likely get a call within 3 minutes during off peak periods. During busy periods, you may have to wait to get a call (and your request will be removed after 10 mins). Is this acceptable?
Yes - it is worth a try: 35.5%
No - I wish to have greater certainty in the service: 64.5%

8. Are you wiling to pay a higher fee to be more certain of getting a taxi?
I prefer the fee remain at $1: 75.0%
I am willing to pay $2: 3.6%
I am willing to pay $3: 17.9%

9. What do you think of this service?
I like it: 19.4%
I will give it a try: 64.5%
I do not like it: 16.1%

CONCLUSION
1. There is keen interest in this service.
2. Most people find the system to be easy to use.
3. The main drawback is the unavailability of taxis during the peak hours.

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=gW8OroZJ2gTNf_2fpAgkgpNQ_3d_3d
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 4:00 PM

Ah Hai
24-12-2008, 11:03 AM
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Meeting at Speaker's Corner, Sat 27 Dec, 5 pm
A meeting of investors of the credit linked notes will be held as follows:

Date: Saturday 27 December 2008
Time: 5 to 7 pm
Place: Speaker's Corner, Hong Lim Park

Agenda
1. Update of complaints to financial institution, FIDREC
2. Update on collective legal action

This will be the last meeting to be held at Speaker's Corner. Subsequent meetings will be organised by the group leaders for the various notes, and will be held at other venues.

Please turn up for this last meeting.
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 5:38 AM

Ah Hai
24-12-2008, 04:12 PM
Anonymous said...

Sorry to post this here, but does anyone know what happened to the onlinecitizen site. Says that account has been suspended. Any updates
December 24, 2008 10:31 AM
Anonymous said...

Ok, mr Tan, shall try to be there to support you.

allow me to digress a bit. sorry, but can i check if TOC url is shutdown now?
try it to see what i mean.

regards
water tan
December 24, 2008 1:10 PM
Albert said...

Merry Christmans Kin lian
December 24, 2008 3:03 PM
Anonymous said...

The onlinecitizen has been disabled by the authority? It will be a sad day for u and me.
December 24, 2008 5:20 PM

Ah Hai
24-12-2008, 11:29 PM
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Be careful about free service for a trial period
Some banks offer credit cards to you free of subscription for one or two years. They will impose a hefty annual fee automatically at the end of the free period, without telling you. If you are not aware about it, you have to pay this fee.

Some card holders call the bank and threaten to cancel the card. The bank may waive the fee out of goodwill. They may not.

The same technique is adopted by mobile phone operators and cable television services. They give you a free period of use for some services, and will quietly levy the charge at the end of the period. They hope that the customers will pay for the services out of ignorance.

Here are some tips to avoid paying for these additional charges, if you do not use the services:

1. Decline the service, if you do not need. it. Do not accept it just because it is free.

2. If you want to try the service, put a reminder in your calendar (on the mobilephone or PC). It will remind you to reivew the service at the end of the free period. If you do not need it, you should call and cancel it.

I hope that the Consumer Association (CASE) will make it compulsory for the business to get the customers to agree on paying for the service at the end of the free period. It should not be on an "assumed opt-in" basis. We need to have stronger business ethics.
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 2:08 AM

Ah Hai
24-12-2008, 11:32 PM
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Online Citizen blog
The Online Citizen blog went down due to heavy traffic. They are running on a hosted site which sets a limit on the number of traffic. In recent months, the traffic went up five times. Yesterday, on Christmas Eve, the traffic must have been exceptionally heavy.

I spoke to the managing editor of The Online Citizen yesterday, after the site came down. He has contacted his volunteer webmaster, who would try to resolve the problem in the evening, after he had completed his full time work.

Regular visitors to The Online Citizen should know that the work is done by volunteers, who have to spend a lot of their personal time and incur travelling and other out of pocket expenses. The expenses to maintain the website are kept to the minimal, due to lack of funds.
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 1:54 AM

Ah Hai
25-12-2008, 12:34 AM
HUNDREDS of anxious customers jammed the phone lines of British insurer Prudential Assurance Singapore yesterday, after their premiums were deducted twice this month.

Prudential said a technical glitch had caused the Giro banking error.

By 11am, it had received about 300 calls from worried customers, including Madam Ann Chow - who realised that her bank account was short of $320 when she withdrew cash at an ATM yesterday morning.

'I immediately checked my account's past transactions via Internet banking. The premiums of two policies were deducted twice on Tuesday. I was alarmed and called the hotline,' she said.

Madam Chow pays monthly premiums of $160 for each of her two Prudential policies - an investment-linked and an endowment plan. Instead of the usual monthly premium deduction of $320, $640 was deducted this month.

An officer at the customer hotline assured her that the money will be reinstated.

'I was so glad that it wasn't just me and I will get my money back. I even forgot to ask when it will be reinstated,' she said.

Prudential told The Straits Times: 'We sincerely apologise for the error

and the inconvenience caused to our policyholders. We will reverse the extra deduction and credit their bank accounts by Dec 26.'

One of the top three life insurers here, Prudential has been here for 77 years, and has about 500,000 customers. Besides its 3,400-strong agency force, Prudential has exclusive partnerships with Standard Chartered Bank, Maybank and Singapore Post.

Prudential declined to give further details on the glitch. It is still investigating the source of the error and the number of affected customers.

It is believed that only transactions done on Tuesday were affected by the glitch.

Despite technological advances, glitches do happen.

Last week, computer problems at the Singapore Exchange caused a lag in price updates and order processing, which affected all dealing houses.

The problem started in the late morning and dragged on for most of the trading day.

[email protected]

Ah Hai
25-12-2008, 10:42 AM
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Be careful about free service for a trial period
Some banks offer credit cards to you free of subscription for one or two years. They will impose a hefty annual fee automatically at the end of the free period, without telling you. If you are not aware about it, you have to pay this fee.

Some card holders call the bank and threaten to cancel the card. The bank may waive the fee out of goodwill. They may not.

The same technique is adopted by mobile phone operators and cable television services. They give you a free period of use for some services, and will quietly levy the charge at the end of the period. They hope that the customers will pay for the services out of ignorance.

Here are some tips to avoid paying for these additional charges, if you do not use the services:

1. Decline the service, if you do not need. it. Do not accept it just because it is free.

2. If you want to try the service, put a reminder in your calendar (on the mobilephone or PC). It will remind you to reivew the service at the end of the free period. If you do not need it, you should call and cancel it.

I hope that the Consumer Association (CASE) will make it compulsory for the business to get the customers to agree on paying for the service at the end of the free period. It should not be on an "assumed opt-in" basis. We need to have stronger business ethics.
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 2:08 AM
4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Free gifts to induce purchase of financial products should be banned.
Financial products shouldn't be bought like other consumer products because if bought for the wrong reasons it can have dire consequences, ie financial loss.
It seems MAS allows the FIs to use anythings to sell their products.
Unlike other jurisdictions there are bans on roadshows considered hawking; gifts considered inducement or bribery;restriction on hours and days salesmen are allowed to call or prospect the customers.
In UK commission will be stopped as a form of remuneration to prevent conflict of interest and mis-selling by 2011.
All these measures are in place to prevent abuses, mis-selling and misrepresentation and other malpractices. Even raising the entry requirement is also considered.Local insurance agents are grossly unqualified and incompetent.
Unfortunately our local regulator sees it as investors' business to avoid and fight against the malpractices. It is no surprise the minibond saga got this reaction from the regulator.The FIs and their salesmen have a complete liberty to do whatever they like with consumers with impunity.
More importantly enforcement of the rules is the corner stone of the regulation without which it is as good as no rules.When everybody pays lip service, from regulator to FIs, another minibomb is awaiting to explode.
I believe it will explode in the life insurance sector. With the formation of FISCA the misdeeds, the malpractices and the unethical practices of the insurance agents will be exposed. It will not be a surprise to know that consumers have been taken a ride by their insurance agents all these years without their knowing it.The dirts, the filth uncovered will be so scary that consumers can't believe their so called nice looking, sincere , sweet talking agents have been crooked, dishonest, incompetent and have been squeezing, milking their financial resources for their personal gain.
I hope the defining changing landscape will augur well for the industry and the consumers
December 25, 2008 10:48 AM
Anonymous said...

I agree with you and thanks for the tips you offered. I agree that the manner on how the approach taken by the trade should be checked for the protection of consumers. The "opt out" approach should not be used and consumers must be made known before the next step taken.
December 25, 2008 11:17 AM
Anonymous said...

There is no free lunch. It is a trap to ensnare the greedy consumers who think they are smart.
December 25, 2008 12:24 PM
Anonymous said...

The business world is protected since it learn of this "dirty" tactics from our world class government. Have you all forgotten about the various opt out schemes dreamt out by our talented million dollar ministers? They led the way how our businesses conduct themselves and now have lost the moral authority to say or do anything otherwise.
More Good Years, for businesses!
December 25, 2008 12:41 PM

Ah Hai
25-12-2008, 10:44 AM
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Avoid retrenchment
Straits Times did not publish this letter.
22 December 2008

Editor
Forum Page
Straits Times

There are discussions about the best way for companies to cope with decreased demand in a recession. The following options were considered:

> retrench foreign workers
> retrench local workers
> reduce pay across the board, to avoid retrenchments

I prefer the method used by the Governor of California State. He asked the state employees to take 2 days of no-pay leave, to reduce the state budget deficit.

Here is my reason. If there is reduced demand, there is reduced work. The company can ask all employees to take a few days of no-pay leave to reduce the wage cost and avoid retrenchment. In return, the employees extra days of leave (in proportion to the reduction in wages). They can spend the time with their family and friends or attend classes to upgrade their knowledge and skills.

To cope with the reduced wages, the employees can draw down on past savings or cut down on the discretionary expenses. For employee with fixed commitments that cannot be reduced, I suggest that they be provided with a low-interest rate loan for the reduction in their wages. This loan can be provided by the employer or the state at an interest rate of 2.5% p.a. (same as CPF interest rate).

I hope that this suggestion can be considered.

Tan Kin Lian
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 9:11 AM
3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Looks like you are not in their good books or you have stepped on somebody's tail. Any strings you can pull?

By MX
December 25, 2008 10:45 AM
Anonymous said...

The Straits Times is well known for publishing letters and articles based on its own agendas. This is another example why Singapore falls short of true democracy and a free press.
December 25, 2008 12:38 PM
Everlearning said...

This is the very sustainable way to keep our economy going and keeping our citizens out of jobs.

Your blog is the best place for viable suggestions and your readers will benefit from your edifying postings.


Don't give up sending this letter to ST. Sooner or later they have to respond to it if you persist.
December 25, 2008 12:45 PM

Ah Hai
25-12-2008, 10:45 AM
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Hong Kong Arbitration Body Mediates First Lehman-Linked Dispute
December 22, 2008: 04:55 AM ET

HONG KONG -(Dow Jones)- The Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre said Monday it concluded its first mediation of a dispute over the selling of structured products related to Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.
The independent body said in a statement it mediated a dispute on Dec. 10 in which investors and a bank reached a settlement after five hours of talks. It didn't give details.

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority said in late October it would refer mediation requests to the arbitration center in cases where both sides agreed to it, to try to reach voluntary settlements on the disputes.

The HKMA said earlier the costs of mediation and arbitration would be split, with banks paying half and the HKMA paying the rest on behalf of investors.

Thousands of investors claim they were misled about the risks when they purchased 'mini-bonds' backed by Lehman, only to see the value plunge after the former Wall Street giant declared bankruptcy in September.

The Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre was set up in 1985. It receives funds from the business community and the Hong Kong Government but says it is totally independent of both and financially self-sufficient.

http://money.cnn.com/news/newsfeeds/articles/djf500/200812220455DOWJONESDJONLINE000122_FORTUNE5.htm
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 9:32 AM
1 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dear FRIENDS

It will be very encouraging if MAS learns from Hong Kong authority -- [a] let an independent to handle the complaint [b] make the FI pays for the costs.

FROM: Cashew Nut
December 25, 2008 10:45 AM

Ah Hai
25-12-2008, 10:47 AM
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Details of 150 CDOs still not available after 3 months
Dear Mr. Tan

I don't understand why after more than 3 months of Lehman Brothers bankruptcy, the following basic, but important information are still not available to the minibond holders :

1) the identities of the 150 CDOs
2) how many credit events already happened out of the 150 CDOs ?
3) how many of the 150 CDOs are on the danger list (about to fail) ?
4) an estimate of the current values of the minibond notes.

If a group of financial experts (from HSBC & MAS) cannot provide these basic information after more than 3 months of Lehman Brothers bankruptcy, it is hard to believe that the ordinary investors could have invested with their eyes open.

P

REPLY
I agree with you, but it is better for you to write to the media or to MAS. MAS should be the party that reply to this type of question.
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 4:10 PM
1 comments:

Wayangnologist said...

QUESTION:

"Details of 150 CDOs still not available after 3 months"



REPLY:

We thank you for your interest.

We are pleased to inform you we are looking into your feedback and would look forward to reply to you soonest we can.

Meantime, please leave down your contact details so we might get in touch with you where necessary.

Thank you.

Customer Service



MESSAGE:

F OFF
December 25, 2008 5:26 PM

Ah Hai
25-12-2008, 10:50 PM
Friday, December 26, 2008
Attention: Pinnacle Note Investors

THE PRO TEM COMMITTEE OF THE PINNACLE ACTION GROUP WISH TO MEET ALL PINNACLE NOTES HOLDERS THIS SAT 5PM AT HONG LIM PARK.

WE WISH TO SEEK YOUR SUPPORTS TO EXPLORE ALTERNATIVE WAYS TO SEEK RELIEF FOR LOSES
INCURRED BY THIS FAILED PRODUCT.

THE CO-OPERATION AND UNDERSTANDING OF ALL INVESTORS CONCERNED WOULD BE MOST APPRECIATED.

FOR THOSE WHO ARE UNABLE TO ATTEND, KINDLY EMAIL YOUR PARTICULARS (NAME, NRIC, EMAIL ADDRESS, AND TELEPHONE) TO:-

[email protected]

Chan JC
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 2:38 AM

Ah Hai
25-12-2008, 11:16 PM
Friday, December 26, 2008
The fallen giants of finance
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/b2247e62-d02f-11dd-ae00-000077b07658.html?nclick_check=1

By Fang Wang, Steven Bernard, Joanna Chung, Saskia Scholtes, Greg Farrell and Francesco Guerrera
Published: December 22 2008 19:21 | Last updated: December 24 2008 18:10

The search for scapegoats in the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression is under way. As one financial group after another has collapsed, wiping out thousands of billions worth of value for investors, a plethora of investigations by prosecutors and regulators has been launched.

Federal officials have opened investigations into at least 25 large companies, including Lehman Brothers, the collapsed investment bank; Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the mortgage financiers taken over by the government; and Washington Mutual, the biggest bank to go under in US history.

Investment banking league table 2008 - Dec-22

Subpoenas have been handed down in some cases, including Lehman and Fannie and Freddie. Prosecutors, along with officials at the Securities and Exchange Commission, are trying to determine whether managers misled the public about the financial condition of their companies. Defence attorneys are likely to argue that companies, as well as their individual directors and executives, cannot be blamed for the unprecedented market turmoil. “One thing we know for certain is that stupid choices were made by hundreds of businessmen but that is not a crime. Some executives may have been overly optimistic but so were a lot of people,” said Daniel Richman, a former federal prosecutor in New York’s southern district and now a Columbia University professor.

The subjects of these profiles, or their spokespeople, were contacted for this article but declined to comment. Compensation includes cashed-in share options.
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 3:29 AM

Ah Hai
25-12-2008, 11:17 PM
Friday, December 26, 2008
Helping Singaporeans cope with recession

Read this article:
http://theonlinecitizen.com/2008/12/helping-singaporeans-cope-with-inflation/

Give your views in this survey:
http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=aY9oQl_2fZCD23kLx8r6_2f2dw_3d_3d

Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 5:42 AM

Ah Hai
25-12-2008, 11:18 PM
Friday, December 26, 2008
Thought for the day - the world is a dangerous place
Contributed by Ho Cheow Seng

"The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it." -- Albert Einstein

Ah Hai
26-12-2008, 07:50 AM
5 Comments

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Mr Tan Kin Lian

May I suggest that you revert your blog to financial and insurance matters as you have very efficiently done so for the past 1 year. All this minibond and lehman issues are grating on the nerves and will receive less and less support as time goes by, as these aggrieved investors leave your company one by one when they realise that the effort is futile. Without even looking for hard statistics, I am quite sure your blog's readership has declined in the past few weeks because of this.

I enjoy reading your blog re the interesting articles and your insights into the financial and investing world. But please, do keep this lehman and dbs issues at a minimum. It is starting to sound like a broken record over and over again :(

Thank You.

December 26, 2008 7:06 AM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

People are becoming more evil, greedy and complicated too.

Jasmin

December 26, 2008 7:19 AM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

example; MAS not taking action against the FIs and the salespeople.
So evil is allowed to romp the market.

December 26, 2008 10:00 AM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good article bc short message and maximum impact. I think the world is a dangerous place bc of man's GREED. The snake who wants to swallow an elephant for his lunch.

MX wrote.

December 26, 2008 10:47 AM
Blogger Wayangnologist said...

The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, not because of the people who don't do anything about it, but because of people who are blatantly ignorant of the fact they assumed.


They assumed the world is safe.

They assumed people are not evil.

Heck they even assumed they COULD do something about it.

December 26, 2008 2:05 PM

Ah Hai
26-12-2008, 07:53 AM
Friday, December 26, 2008
Results - complaints to financial institutions
Summary of 16 replies (excluding 1 reply which was lodged 2 weeks ago)

How long did the financial institution take to give you a reply?
The decisions were given after an average of 6 ½ weeks for 10 cases. No decision was given for the remaining 6 cases after 5 to 13 weeks.

What was the decision?
The financial institution rejected 9 cases.
Compensation was offered for 1 case, where the amount invested was $20,000 and the investor was younger than 62 years. (No other details available)

Will you complain to FIDREC?
2 cases have lodged with FIDREC.
Most of the other cases intend to complain to FIDREC.
2 cases will not go to FIDREC, as they are discouraged.
1 case exceed $50,000 and cannot be heard in FIDREC.
There is a high degree of sceptism on the outcome.

Any other comments?
6 cases expressed disapopintment with MAS and the Government on the handling of this matter.

Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 9:08 AM
2 comments:

Lion Investor said...

The case which is more than $50k can still go to Fidrec as this is a special scenario. They will take all amounts.
December 26, 2008 12:15 PM
Parka said...

I've just received the letter back from the FI OCBC Securities.

Result: Rejected.

My invested amount is US15K with the Minibond 2.

I don't think I'll go to FIDREC. I pretty much think that people in the financial sector and the government are just incompetent. Qualified for their job, yes. But don't assume competence comes with qualification.

It's a case of "show me how they are paid and I will show you how they will behave". When in doubt, just keep that in mind and you can predict your opponent's every move. It works all the time.

One of the reasons why I might not go to FIDREC is also because of the contract law. Regardless of misrepresentation claims, the contract law is set up specifically to prevent consumers from suing by saying that they understood what they sign. I say regardless because there might still be a chance of winning, but it's going to be a tough fight.

Because of this outcome, I'll never invest in third party entities again. Third party meaning the middle man, aka banks, who are selling products for other clients, aka Lehman Brothers.

If I were to invest, I would cut out the middle man. The financial entities do provide value in getting all these products in one place. But what is the use if they hold back information just because they can gain (financially) from it? Or worse, because they are incompetent and lead consumers to sign on the contract.

So for all, bare in mind the quote "show me how they are paid and I will show you how they will behave".

It applies to everyone, you and me.
December 26, 2008 12:21 PM

Ah Hai
26-12-2008, 07:55 AM
Friday, December 26, 2008
Seminar for Minibond Investors
A seminar, titled " Minibond Victims: The Way Forward In 2009 " will be held soon. The details are:

Date: Tuesday 30th December 2008
Time: 7 to 9 .30 pm (registration starts at 6 pm )
Venue: Singapore Polytechnic Graduates Guild House
1010 Dover Road Singapore 139658
Admission: Free (Register online here)
(Click here for a map to locate the SP Guild House )

The agenda for the evening:

- Welcome
- Introduction (Mr Tan Kin Lian)
- The Way Forward: The Plans For 2009
- The National Minibond Data Collection Exercise
- The Start Of Legal Efforts: Leonard Loo
- Q & A

Don't miss this important seminar as the legal efforts to protect the interests of Minibond customers get into full swing! Mr. Loo has confirmed that he will have a Senior Counsel (SC) on board his legal team so come down and listen to his deliberations.

Register early for the free seminar as there are only 250 seats !(please ensure you have registered with the Minibond Group before you participate in the seminar).

Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 3:13 PM

Ah Hai
27-12-2008, 02:34 PM
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Speaker's Corner, 27 Dec 2008 - Speech

1. Meetings at Hong Lim Park
The first meeting for investors of the credit linked notes was held on 11 October 2008. This was followed by another 9 meetings. The first 8 meetings were held at weekly intervals while the last two meeting was held at fortnightly intervals. Today’s meeting is the 10th and final meeting to be held at Hong Lim Park for the credit linked notes.

You may wonder why Hong Lim Park was chosen to be the venue for the meeting. The most important reason is that it is free and is available at any time. However, it is not quite convenient, due to the lack of facilities. There is no sound system and everyone had to stand. On a few occasions, we had to share the use of the park with other activities. It rained on one meeting.

Still, it is a wonderful experience for us to meet at Hong Lim Park and to get to know each other.

2. Petitions
During the past three months, a total of four petitions sent organised, of which three petitions were presented to the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

The first petition dated 10 October and signed by 983 people, asked the Government to look into any possible wrong doings by the financial institutions that created and marketed the credit linked notes.

The second petition dated 17 October and signed by 277 people, asked the MAS to investigate the sales training given by the financial institutions to their representatives who sold the credit linked notes.

The fourth petition dated 31 October and signed by 1,073 people, asked the MAS to review the complaint handling process of the financial institutions, to set up an independent unit to receive the complaints and to encourage the financial institutions to adopt a collective approach in offering fair compensation to the investors.

These petitions were presented to the chairman and executive director of MAS and were acknowledged. My requests to meet with the chairman or senior management of MAS were declined. I received replies that any development would be communicated to the public through media releases.

Up to now, we have not received any communication on whether the specific requests contained in the petitions had been considered or implemented.

3. Complaint Handling Process
We have received reports that about 5,000 complaints had been received by the financial institutions that sold the credit linked notes. The MAS had issued a statement that the complaint handling processes of these institutions had generally met their expected standard.

We have not been provided with information on the number of people that have received full or partial compensation for the alleged mis-selling of the product. A small number of the so-called vulnerable investors had been compensated. Although the actual number is not disclosed, this is estimated to account for less than 2 percent of the investors.

The perception of the investors is quite different from the MAS. Many investors found the complaint handling process to be carried out in an unfair and unsatisfactory manner.

The anecdotal reports from any investors are that their complaints of alleged mis-selling were rejected by the financial institutions.

MAS had required the financial institutions to give their decision on each complaint within four weeks. This deadline appeared to have been not met. There are many reports from investors that they had not received any decision after six weeks or longer.

The next step for the investors is to lodge a complaint with the dispute resolution center, called FIDREC. From our survey, a small number of investors had taken this second step to lodge their complaints. Most of the investors intend to take this second step, but the process has been extremely slow and difficult.

4. Collective legal action
Many investors had indicated that they will join in a collective legal action against the financial institutions. It will be correct for me to say, on their behalf, they had taken this decision with great reluctance and difficulty. They would have preferred a more amicable way to get fair compensation for their financial loss.

I like to ask the investors to join the different groups representing the different types of credit linked notes, namely the Minibonds, High Notes, Jubilee Notes and the Pinnacle Notes.

The leaders of these groups will be holding separate meetings next year for the investors. As each group is smaller, it is easier to arrange a more conducive place to hold an indoor meeting.

Each investor group is also setting up a website and an e-mail list to communicate with their members. The key activities of these groups are to educate their members, provide assistance and advice, and to organise the collective legal action.

I shall be in touch with the leaders of these groups and to co-ordinate the activities of the various groups, if required.

5. My blog
I will continue to keep all investors updated through my blog, www.tankinlian.blogspot.com.

I wish to thank a few volunteers who had been providing me with daily updates of news and articles from other sources. I have put the relevant articles in my blog. I encourage the investors to the postings in my blog to keep in touch with the developments.

6. Conclusion
I am sorry that there was little progress in getting fair compensation for your financial losses, in spite of the great efforts that were put in by many people. We have tried many different approaches, but keep hitting a stone wall – even tough we keep our eyes “wide open”.

During the past three months, we have made many friends from among the investors and volunteers. Let us continue our friendship and continue our efforts to seek fair compensation for the investors, although the future efforts will be done outside of Hong Lim Park.

Let me wish all of you, all the best for 2009.

Tan Kin Lian
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 6:00 PM

Ah Hai
27-12-2008, 02:36 PM
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Ah Hai
27-12-2008, 02:38 PM
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Ah Hai
27-12-2008, 10:42 PM
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Ah Hai
27-12-2008, 11:02 PM
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Ah Hai
28-12-2008, 06:21 AM
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Ah Hai
28-12-2008, 06:22 AM
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Satisfaction with Life Index

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satisfaction_with_Life_Index#International_Ranking _.282006.29


Rank Country SWL

1 Denmark 273.4
2 Switzerland 273.3
8 Canada 253.3
16 Malaysia,
New Zealand
United States 246.7
25 Australia 243.3
33 Germany 240.0
41 United Kingdom 236.7
48 Singapore 230.0
61 France
Hong Kong
Indonesia 220.0
71 Thailand 216.7
77 Philippines 213.3
81 China 210.0
88 Japan 206.7
100 South Korea 193.3
122 India 180.0
177 Zimbabwe 110.0

Singapore rank below Malaysia (surprising!), USA and UK but ahead of Hong Kong, Japan (surprising!) and France.

Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 10:29 AM

Ah Hai
29-12-2008, 04:03 AM
Monday, December 29, 2008
Survey on Distribution Cost of Life Insurance Policy

If you have bought a life insurance policy (i.e. whole, life, endowment, investment linked, or variation) during the past two years, you can participate in this survey:

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=AaicemJhQmUXu8DitwJm8Q_3d_3d
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 8:49 AM

Ah Hai
29-12-2008, 08:55 AM
2 Comments

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Mr Tan,

Just wanted to know why buying Insurance policies must go thru' an agent (Assuming that the potential policyholder knows what he wants and does not need the services provided by the insurance agent) whereas unit trust can purchase via on-line? (without any agent to represent).

Can the potential policyholders who wanted to purchase policies avoid going thru an agent and make the purchases directly thru the Insurance company.

In this case, the potential policyholders can SAVE a substantial amount by reducing the distribution costs.

Thank you,

YM

December 29, 2008 9:56 AM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The FSA UK will remove commission by 2011 as a means of remuneration. It will be substituted by fees.In other words insurance products will not carry a commission or a small nominal commission for product pushers or a deep discount.The consumers will benefit from this change by paying a fee and they get responsible advice at lower cost than the embedded commission.
Cost is inversely related to return. Higher cost means your return and protection is low .This is the reason today Whole life and endowment are NOT value for money.
The operating cost of the company has gone up very much, especailly when CEO asking million dollar salary, senior management paid 3 times higher than before and every staff demanding higher pay. Who pays for them? You the consumers. Cost is high, investment return is low, where can can you get value for money for whole life or endowment?
You must as well invest on your own by using BTITR.
Nowdays,to hide the low protection and return the insurance company covers up with a lot of rubbish like retrenchment benefit, annuity conversion, 3times death beneift from accident, and OTHER CRAPS TO FOOL the customers.Customers don't buy craps.The basic benefits to look at are protection and return.
These 2 will give the peace of mind.

December 29, 2008 10:14 AM

Ah Hai
29-12-2008, 08:57 AM
Monday, December 29, 2008
HK: More frustration for minibond investors at tribunal
http://www.thestandard.com.hk/breaking_news_detail.asp?id=11349&icid=3&d_str=20081229
Lehman Brothers minibond investors have had their hearing at the Small Claims Tribunal in Wan Chai adjourned to March 23.

More than 10 investors who had bought products from banks such as DBS, Bank of China and CITIC Ka Wah filed cases with the tribunal, which has the power to claim compensation up to a ceiling of HK$50,000.

At the hearing, DBS representatives applied for cases against their bank to be heard in the District Court, citing complications in the case and the bank's need for legal representation. Cases needing legal representation cannot be heard at the tribunal.

Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 3:09 PM
3 comments:

Concerned said...

DBS strategy is that the cost of the legal fees will discourage investors from filing their claims in a district court.
December 29, 2008 4:10 PM
Concerned said...

"At the hearing, DBS representatives applied for cases against their bank to be heard in the District Court, citing complications in the case and the bank's need for legal representation."

So now DBS admits that the structure of those credit linked notes are complicated and needs legal representation. It is not a simple product that can be understood and sold to their customers over the counter. If the sellers need legal advice to settle claims in a tribunal, what about the buyers who just walk in and bought the product in about 30 minutes. Can they understand the structure, risk, rewards and legal complications of the products, with their eyes and ears opened.
December 29, 2008 4:26 PM
Wayangnologist said...

if i hadnt expected the poster as feeling possibly 'victimised', i'd have been misled by misleading statements that were actually meant so!


The FIs said complications in the case, they didnt say the case is complicated.


Yes, English is helpful if you want try investing and avoid claiming being misled.

Now i have suspicions about how prospectus are read. Or misread ahem.
December 29, 2008 4:59 PM

Ah Hai
29-12-2008, 08:58 AM
Monday, December 29, 2008
Results - helping Singaporeans to cope with recession
Here are the updated results based on 49 replies (shown in brackets) compared to the earlier results based on2 5 replies. In most cases, the results are quite close. This suggest that the results based on 25 replies is quite reliable.

1. What do you think about the relief loan for Singaporeans to cover loss of earnings caused by reduction or a shorter work week?

It is a good idea 32.0% (29.2%)
It is worth a try 56.0% (52.1%)
It is not practical 12.0% (18.8%)

2. Is there a big risk that the relief loan can be abused?

It is a big risk that cannot be managed 12.0% (16.7%)
There is a risk, but it can be managed 84.0% (77.1%)
The risk is small, and worth taking 4.0% (6.3%)

3. If a business faces reduced demand, what is the best way for the business to cope?

retrench employees 4.0% (6.3%)
cut wages 36.0% (31.3%)
ask the employees to take no-pay leave 60.0% (62.5%)

4. Many countries have unemployment insurance. Is it time for Singapore to introduce such as scheme?

Most countries find it difficult to prevent abuses 20.0% (18.4%)
The abuses are small and can be managed 40.0% (39.5%)
It is better to start offering a relief loan along the lines proposed 40.0% (44.7%)

5. Should Goods & Services Tax (GST) be reduced temporarily to cope with the recession?

Yes - to encourage consumer spending 75.0% (78.3%)
No - people should reduced spending in hard times 12.5% (13.0%)
No - there are better ways to encourage spending 12.5% (8.7%)

6. How much should GST be reduced to encourage spending?

reduce by 7% replies: 8.0% (6.4%)
reduce by 4% replies: 48.0% (59.6%)
reduce by 2% replies: 20.0% (14.9%)
0% - do not reduce GST replies: 24.0% (19.1%)

7. How should the Government cope with a reduction in GST revenues?

Increase personal income tax 8.7% (6.5%)
Reduce government spending 30.4% (37.0%)
Draw down on past reserves 60.9% (56.5%)

8. What is the best way to encourage consumer spending?

Give cash handouts 29.2% (21.3%
Give food and other coupons 16.7% (19.1%)
Reduce GST and charges 54.2% (59.6%)

Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 3:47 PM
2 comments:

ym said...

hi Mr Tan,
havent had time recently to post in this blog but i found the results of this survey rather interesting..

my views are :
- more credit (if via fractional-reserve lending aka couterfeit money with the blessing of our gahmens) will furhter collapse the global economy..

- more spending is not the answer to our problems, in fact, it is more savings.. most ppl understand the economic collapse/depression as lack of demand, but it's actually a lack of real savings thats the root of the problem..
fractional reserve credit we have plenty of, but real money, we have little.. most was wasted on bubble activities (casinos, property, watches, comtemporary art, structured prods etc..)

- yes reduce gst... and income tax needs to be more skewed ie high income earners taxed significantly more..
December 26, 2008 5:32 PM
Anonymous said...

Haha. The biggest % choice in each of the survey questions are to be expected.

But unfortunately all these will not be implemented, also to be expected. Want to bet?

The PAP gahmen only wants to help you cope in piecemeal manner or on a case by case basis, just like what the FIs are doing in the Minibond fiasco.
December 26, 2008 6:17 PM

Ah Hai
29-12-2008, 09:01 AM
Monday, December 29, 2008
SCMP:Mis-selling of minibonds had 1980s precedent in Britain
http://www.pressdisplay.com/pressdisplay/showlink.aspx?bookmarkid=20Y5PIVUMQU5&linkid=593eb6f4-f2d5-4fa5-b42a-9ab1cf136f74&pdaffid=8HM4kDzWViwfc7AqkYlqIQ%3d%3d

29 Dec 2008
Jimmy Chow, Cheung Sha Wan

The controversy over the minibond saga does not only relate to compensation. It is about [alleged] mis-selling.

Instead of paying investors of Lehman’s minibonds back, local banks have come up with a complex way by providing a pool of HK$100 million to help the minibond trustee to perform its duty to protect the “interest of minibond investors” (“Deduction decision in legal fight irks Lehman investors”, December 19).

If a retired taxi driver did not seem to understand the minibond in which he had invested his life savings, he can hardly be expected to grasp this legal game [unfolding in the US]. Neither can I.

So far, only a limited number of people have received compensation from the banks, a small percentage of total claimants.

The mis-selling of securities in Hong Kong, which mostly occurred over the last two years, is reminiscent of the mis-selling in Britain between 1988 and 1994.

In 1988 the British government encouraged people to make private provision for retirement in addition to the state pension by purchasing personal pension plans.

It turned out that fast-talking salesmen misled people into buying retirement pension products they did not really need.

Realising there had been mis-selling on a huge scale, in 1994 the British financial services regulator “instructed” banks and insurers to stop these practices and review all cases.

By 1997 only 5 per cent of the cases were cleared up.

That year, the newly-elected Labour government decided to “name and shame” and to fine the laggards.

Disciplinary action was taken against 349 firms which resulted in fines totalling £11million (HK$126.3 million). Nearly £12 billion was paid in compensation to policyholders.

I hope I am wrong, but if our government remains reluctant to conduct a radical review on both the minibond scandal and the city’s regulatory framework, the saga will drag on indefinitely.

Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 4:08 PM
2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yes, if an elected government does not intervene when its citizens have been abused and are shortchanged then what do these government people do except make nice sounding speeches and collect their salary? All countries make it their business to look after their citizens as a primary responsibility. Are we leading the world again towards a new paradigm to show that asians can think?
December 29, 2008 4:42 PM
Anonymous said...

Our present government is thinking too much for theie own salary packages rather than the well being of its citizens. It is really sad indeed.
December 29, 2008 5:19 PM

Ah Hai
29-12-2008, 09:02 AM
Monday, December 29, 2008
Thought for the day - make an exception of myself
Contributed by Ho Cheow Sent

"The essence of immorality is the tendency to make an exception of myself: Jane Addams
(An example is a ruler who passes laws for his people and exempts himself from those very laws)

Ah Hai
29-12-2008, 11:00 PM
Monday, December 29, 2008
HK: More frustration for minibond investors at tribunal
http://www.thestandard.com.hk/breaking_news_detail.asp?id=11349&icid=3&d_str=20081229
Lehman Brothers minibond investors have had their hearing at the Small Claims Tribunal in Wan Chai adjourned to March 23.

More than 10 investors who had bought products from banks such as DBS, Bank of China and CITIC Ka Wah filed cases with the tribunal, which has the power to claim compensation up to a ceiling of HK$50,000.

At the hearing, DBS representatives applied for cases against their bank to be heard in the District Court, citing complications in the case and the bank's need for legal representation. Cases needing legal representation cannot be heard at the tribunal.

Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 3:09 PM
3 comments:

Concerned said...

DBS strategy is that the cost of the legal fees will discourage investors from filing their claims in a district court.
December 29, 2008 4:10 PM
Concerned said...

"At the hearing, DBS representatives applied for cases against their bank to be heard in the District Court, citing complications in the case and the bank's need for legal representation."

So now DBS admits that the structure of those credit linked notes are complicated and needs legal representation. It is not a simple product that can be understood and sold to their customers over the counter. If the sellers need legal advice to settle claims in a tribunal, what about the buyers who just walk in and bought the product in about 30 minutes. Can they understand the structure, risk, rewards and legal complications of the products, with their eyes and ears opened.
December 29, 2008 4:26 PM
Wayangnologist said...

if i hadnt expected the poster as feeling possibly 'victimised', i'd have been misled by misleading statements that were actually meant so!


The FIs said complications in the case, they didnt say the case is complicated.


Yes, English is helpful if you want try investing and avoid claiming being misled.

Now i have suspicions about how prospectus are read. Or misread ahem.
December 29, 2008 4:59 PM

3 Comments

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Blogger Concerned said...

DBS strategy is that the cost of the legal fees will discourage investors from filing their claims in a district court.

December 29, 2008 4:10 PM
Blogger Concerned said...

"At the hearing, DBS representatives applied for cases against their bank to be heard in the District Court, citing complications in the case and the bank's need for legal representation."

So now DBS admits that the structure of those credit linked notes are complicated and needs legal representation. It is not a simple product that can be understood and sold to their customers over the counter. If the sellers need legal advice to settle claims in a tribunal, what about the buyers who just walk in and bought the product in about 30 minutes. Can they understand the structure, risk, rewards and legal complications of the products, with their eyes and ears opened.

December 29, 2008 4:26 PM
Blogger Wayangnologist said...

if i hadnt expected the poster as feeling possibly 'victimised', i'd have been misled by misleading statements that were actually meant so!


The FIs said complications in the case, they didnt say the case is complicated.


Yes, English is helpful if you want try investing and avoid claiming being misled.

Now i have suspicions about how prospectus are read. Or misread ahem.

December 29, 2008 4:59 PM

Ah Hai
29-12-2008, 11:03 PM
Monday, December 29, 2008
SCMP:Mis-selling of minibonds had 1980s precedent in Britain
http://www.pressdisplay.com/pressdisplay/showlink.aspx?bookmarkid=20Y5PIVUMQU5&linkid=593eb6f4-f2d5-4fa5-b42a-9ab1cf136f74&pdaffid=8HM4kDzWViwfc7AqkYlqIQ%3d%3d

29 Dec 2008
Jimmy Chow, Cheung Sha Wan

The controversy over the minibond saga does not only relate to compensation. It is about [alleged] mis-selling.

Instead of paying investors of Lehman’s minibonds back, local banks have come up with a complex way by providing a pool of HK$100 million to help the minibond trustee to perform its duty to protect the “interest of minibond investors” (“Deduction decision in legal fight irks Lehman investors”, December 19).

If a retired taxi driver did not seem to understand the minibond in which he had invested his life savings, he can hardly be expected to grasp this legal game [unfolding in the US]. Neither can I.

So far, only a limited number of people have received compensation from the banks, a small percentage of total claimants.

The mis-selling of securities in Hong Kong, which mostly occurred over the last two years, is reminiscent of the mis-selling in Britain between 1988 and 1994.

In 1988 the British government encouraged people to make private provision for retirement in addition to the state pension by purchasing personal pension plans.

It turned out that fast-talking salesmen misled people into buying retirement pension products they did not really need.

Realising there had been mis-selling on a huge scale, in 1994 the British financial services regulator “instructed” banks and insurers to stop these practices and review all cases.

By 1997 only 5 per cent of the cases were cleared up.

That year, the newly-elected Labour government decided to “name and shame” and to fine the laggards.

Disciplinary action was taken against 349 firms which resulted in fines totalling £11million (HK$126.3 million). Nearly £12 billion was paid in compensation to policyholders.

I hope I am wrong, but if our government remains reluctant to conduct a radical review on both the minibond scandal and the city’s regulatory framework, the saga will drag on indefinitely.

Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 4:08 PM


Anonymous said...

Yes, if an elected government does not intervene when its citizens have been abused and are shortchanged then what do these government people do except make nice sounding speeches and collect their salary? All countries make it their business to look after their citizens as a primary responsibility. Are we leading the world again towards a new paradigm to show that asians can think?
December 29, 2008 4:42 PM
Anonymous said...

Our present government is thinking too much for theie own salary packages rather than the well being of its citizens. It is really sad indeed.
December 29, 2008 5:19 PM

8 Comments

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, if an elected government does not intervene when its citizens have been abused and are shortchanged then what do these government people do except make nice sounding speeches and collect their salary? All countries make it their business to look after their citizens as a primary responsibility. Are we leading the world again towards a new paradigm to show that asians can think?

December 29, 2008 4:42 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our present government is thinking too much for theie own salary packages rather than the well being of its citizens. It is really sad indeed.

December 29, 2008 5:19 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We have given the full trust to them for so many years but endup we got playout. Look at other countries, there are no parties can stay that long. Only the lighting Logo.

Pretty sad thing.

December 29, 2008 6:07 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Only when the ruling party get kick out of parliament, then you got hope. One party is not a bad thing provided she is not selfish, self-centred, self esteem (too big, too high). Can this happen in S'pore? Dun think so, because of 40+ years of comfort which lead to complacency. Only thing that will not change is when the next boom time come, a big salary increase and big bonus will be brought up. Oh good time you have is because of us, the elite people. You object also no use, because there is no Congress or Senate to throw it out. Instead count yourself lucky, you are rule by the "elitism". Sounds a bit like those CEO of Walls Street companies??

December 29, 2008 6:44 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe in uniquely Singapore, the banks and other big or monopoly businesses are so interconnected with the gahmen that if they take action (hurt) against one, the other will also feel it. Only you folks are left out. If you feel hurt, they don't.

That's why the Gahmen behave the way they do and also of course not convenient to tell you why. That's why the silence and lack of a proper response.

December 29, 2008 7:16 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You think MAS dares to do that, fine the banks and the insurers? There had been many cases of misconduct by insurance agents, did MAS discipline them severely/ Just massage them for a few months and these agents were back again disguised as better sounding titles like financial consultants to plan bigger heist and to fleece this time more carefully and legally.
In mature markets people like these agents would be in the coffins awaiting burial for good.The insurers would be fined until their underwear left.

December 29, 2008 7:32 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When so many such products are in the market, sooner or later u will kena. Very hard to escape one.

December 29, 2008 7:56 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

a lot of people already kena revosave
locked for life for a return of only 1.35%. This is madness. It only shows how stupid consumers are and how insurance are ruthless agents are. One is an idiot and one is without conscience and this is how mis-selling is born.
Hope FISCA can be formed as soon as possible to stop all these. FISCA can also play the regulator's role, watchdog and whistle blower.

December 29, 2008 8:55 PM

Ah Hai
29-12-2008, 11:05 PM
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Hong Kong: Lehman dozen feeling bullied
http://www.thestandard.com.hk/news_detail.asp?pp_cat=11&art_id=76374&con_type=1&d_str=20081230

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A dozen investors in Lehman Brothers products suffered a further setback yesterday when the Small Claims Tribunal adjourned until March a hearing on their demands for refunds. Adjudicator Anthony Chow Siu- wo told the tribunal that a further 100 claims needed to be processed, while one of the banks being sued, DBS, as well as an employee of Chong Hing Bank, had asked for their cases to be transferred to the District Court since they needed legal representation.
Legal representatives are not permitted at a hearing by the tribunal, which is limited to dealing with claims not exceeding HK$50,000.

Investors suing DBS complained of being bullied, saying they could not afford the fees in the District Court.

Chow told the 12 individual claimants seeking refunds from six banks that they will have to wait for another three months before the hearing can be continued.
Four claimants who bought DBS' Constellation products were told by a representative of the bank at the tribunal that their products had zero value.

Chow said the problem with some of the cases was that no one, including the banks, knew the value of the financial products that had been sold, though they may have been valued at zero for a certain period. Thus, one could not calculate the amount of money lost by investors, Chow said. ADELE WONG

Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 7:45 AM

Ah Hai
30-12-2008, 03:58 AM
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
HK Standard: Lehman minibond values up in air
30 Dec 2008

The Hong Kong Association of Banks announced yesterday that leftover values of Lehman Brothers minibonds are as much as 78.31 percent.

However, a source from the banking sector said the pricing, set as at November 21, is no longer applicable because of fundamental uncertainties following a legal challenge from Lehman liquidators.

"There have been no attempts to update the valuation," the source said.

The pricing of the minibonds will continue once the legal issue is settled, the source said.

However, "there will be potentially additional costs to be incurred as a result of the legal challenge.''

The banking association also said: ``If this claim [from Lehman's liquidators] is upheld, the value of the minibonds will significantly decrease.''

According to a Legislative Council document submitted by the association's Lehman task force yesterday, prices, as at November 21, of the minibonds ranged from 0.82 percent to 64.03 percent on average.

Series 11, tranche A, was worth the most among all the series and its price was 78.31 percent, after calculating the value of the underlying collateral. Those who bought the product for US$100 (HK$780) would get US$78.31. Remaining values of series five to nine of the minibonds were only 0.82 percent.

The pricing information no longer represents the current market value of the minibonds and the banks cannot assess how much a minibond investor may recover from the proceeds of the collateral underlying the minibonds, the association added.

A Legco meeting relating to the government buyback proposal for the minibonds will be held this morning.

Late last month, the minibond trustee, a US unit of HSBC (0005), received a letter from legal advisers to Lehman in the United States that the proceeds from any sale of the underlying collateral for the minibonds should be paid to the collapsed US investment bank before the issuer of the minibonds and in turn the investors.

The banks are still circulating the documents for the provision of up to HK$100 million to the trustee and expect it will not only be used for paying legal fees.

"The precise terms of the proposed funding have not yet been agreed between the banks and the trustee," the association said.
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 10:53 AM

Ah Hai
30-12-2008, 03:59 AM
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Pinnacle Notes: Website should be more free with info

Published in Straits Times, Dec 30, 2008

I WAS directed to the Morgan Stanley website for Pinnacles Notes by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) website. When I entered the Morgan Stanley website, I was welcomed by a long legal disclaimer that required the answer 'yes' before I was granted further access. As a result, I was discouraged from entering the website for more information.

May I ask Morgan Stanley to consider removing this legalistic disclaimer and making access free for the following reasons:

- Pinnacle Notes is of public interest, and basic information such as redemption value should be freely available.For example, a bank website provides information on fixed deposits and exchange rates. In another example, unit trust investments are quoted daily via normal marketing channels.

- Morgan Stanley should not impose such a legalistic disclaimer because it is merely allowing access and not providing professional advice. Its exposure is next to zero. Members of the public who want access are looking for information and not professional advice.

It would be fair for Morgan Stanley to allow public access to general information without agreeing to a disclaimer. However, if professional advice is solicited, it is free to give it.

Leong Kok Ho


Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 10:57 AM

Ah Hai
30-12-2008, 04:00 AM
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Survey - Mis-selling of Credit Linked Notes

This is a new survey, to collect statistical information by product and distributor. Please participate:

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=bH_2feqjLGwIcvaYbpcbXdRA_3d_3d
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 11:00 PM

Ah Hai
30-12-2008, 04:17 AM
MY WIFE made a genuine banking mistake and as a result, her bank, POSB, has pocketed a so-called administration fee of $40 from her savings account. We feel the charge is too high and not justified or reasonable.

Last Tuesday, I accompanied my wife to Hong Leong Finance in Jurong West to open a fixed deposit account. She wrote a POSB cheque for a certain amount and intended to keep the deposit for two years at 1.18 per cent under current market conditions. Unfortunately, she forgot she would have to transfer a sum of money from her DBS savings account to her POSB saving account, which is linked to her current account. She has two separate accounts with both banks which were opened before POSB was absorbed by DBS.

As a result, the cheque did not clear and POSB has deducted $40 from her savings account. She was surprised POSB did not even contact her to clarify the situation.

On Thursday, she made a fund transfer from her DBS savings account to her POSB savings account and re-submitted a cheque to Hong Leong Finance on Saturday.

She would like to appeal to POSB to waive the administration fee, given that she already pays a monthly fee of $2 for her current account.

Humans make mistakes, no matter how careful they are and banks should understand this.

Goh Kian Huat

http://www.straitstimes.com/ST+Forum/Online+Story/STIStory_319726.html

Ah Hai
30-12-2008, 04:19 AM
ooptimizer
Today, 07:47 AM
Banks must also make money. If everything waive, how can Banks make money?

Furthermore, to avoid this simple mistake, just close your DBS account and open a POSB savings account to link to your current account. Then there will be no more mistakes (unless you got no money in your POSB savings accout, sorry la!)

If not, you can always make the same mistake again.
ooptimizer
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clang123
Today, 07:51 AM
You made a mistake. You should be writing to the bank to appeal. The bank did not do anything wrong so you should not use this forum to apply pressure on the bank to refund your $40. Shame on you.
clang123
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Baikinman
Today, 07:55 AM
It is hard for the bank to determine whether there was a genuine mistake or otherwise. In any case, the bounced cheque incurred unnecessary some administrative work to which there is a cost involved. Who should pay for this cost?
Baikinman
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Eegle2004
Today, 08:33 AM
All shop lifters will claim they did it by mistake. All traffic violators will claim they did it innocently. Are you a first time bank account holder? You dont even know where is your money. And you issued a cheque simply. Cheque return charges are usually informed to customers at the time of opening account. And dont waste our precious time and space here. Go to the ban and fall at their feet.
Eegle2004
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Eagle2004
Today, 08:55 AM
Dear Posters

Kindly note that Eegle2004 is an imposter. I wouldn't post such drivel.
Eagle2004
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ChristineChua_Ms
Today, 09:08 AM
Eage/Eegle who is the real who is the fake? I doubt. Eegle has been contributing ideas which is interesting and worth reading whether we accept or not. But eagle has been simply crying pathetically 'he is fake.. he is imposter'
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Eagle2004
Today, 09:14 AM
ChristineChua_Ms has exposed himself as the imposter Eegle2004! How stupid of you! LOL!
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wudang10
Today, 09:19 AM
How about her other question of $40 for administrative charges being too high?

I have been wondering how much costs does it involve to clear a bounced cheque? Is there a profit element in the charge or is it based on cost?

UK banks faced similar scrutiny last year when consumers wrote in and complain about the the high charges and the regulators found there is a profit element involved which should not be the case.
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forgetitlah
Today, 09:55 AM
why should there be any difference in a POSB savings and DBS savings account in the first place?

Didn't they merge some donkey years ago? I remembered the banks were saying they would be merging the accounts. Unless until today, they still have not finished merging the accounts.
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Ah Hai
30-12-2008, 04:20 AM
takefive
Today, 10:07 AM
Since you were there, it is your duty to check and remind your wife. Perhaps you were busy ogling the pretty bank officer? I pity your wife for your lack of attention on her. Please, retain your dignity and don't beg from the bank. Atone for your own failings by replenishing your wife's account with $40 from your personal account.
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creationist555
Today, 10:43 AM
I forget to put a parking coupon, hence kenna fine $30. I forget cannot park at double yellow line, hence kenna fine $70. I forget the speed limit is 80 kmh. bla bla. Sound familiar? In life, we sometimes have to accept the penalty thru’ forgetfulness although with no malice. Pay up and get on with your life. Such a trivial matter deal with it between the bank and yourself.

Sometimes the administrative charges have to be punitive. Otherwise, everybody will “tends” to forget.
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NELNELNEL
Today, 11:07 AM
If they refund one, what about the rest?
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dingdang8
Today, 12:03 PM

nextinfidel
30-12-2008, 11:00 AM
so after all that postings, ramblings on the internet, and all the meetings at HL Park....final question is : are the uncle and aunties investors gonna get back their money???

Ah Hai
30-12-2008, 03:39 PM
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
MAS reply on Pinnacle Notes
Hi Kin Lian,

Now a piece of positive news. MAS has finally responded to the PLEA I had sent last month on behalf of some 80 PN holders in November. I will like to share this with you and the other PN holders, hopefully before the year is out.

I will therefore like to impose once again on your kindness to post MAS's letter (attached below) on your website for their awareness.

Dear Mr Quek

We refer to your letter dated 19 November 2008 to Mr Heng Swee Keat, Managing Director, MAS.

2. On 18 December 2008, Morgan Stanley Asia (Singapore) Pte, the arranger of Pinnacle notes published a number of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) that address the issues you raised, among others. The FAQs are available athttp://www.morganstanley.com/pinnaclenotes/pdf/series9-10/FAQs_18-12-08.pdf

3. You enquired about the root causes for the devaluation of Pinnacle credit linked notes. Please refer to questions 5 and 11 of the FAQs which explain the reasons for the fall in value of the Notes. You also raised the question on whether any steps could be taken to protect the value of the Pinnacle notes. The petition alluded to steps being taken for the Lehman minibond notes and that these steps if viable should similarly be extended to Pinnacle notes. Please refer to Questions 8 and 9 of the above FAQs where the differences in the circumstances giving rise to early redemption of Minibond notes and the Pinnacle notes are explained, and on the restructuring of Pinnacle notes. You may also refer to MAS' press release of 2 Dec 2008 where we informed investors that due to legal complexities that have arisen, the trustees and receivers are of the view that restructuring of the Minibond notes is not currently viable.
Link to MAS press release on 2 Dec 2008:

http://www.mas.gov.sg/news_room/press_releases/2008/Update_on_Lehman_Minibond_Notes_Programme.html

4. For consumers who consider that the Pinnacle notes were mis-sold to them, we would advise them to first lodge their complaint directly with the financial institution (FI) that sold them the products. MAS requires FIs to have a rigorous process to look into every complaint of mis-selling and resolve them fairly. In the event that consumers are not satisfied with the FI’s reply, they may consider approaching the Financial Industry Disputes Resolution Centre (FIDReC). FIDReC is an independent institution which aims to provide consumers with a one-stop avenue for resolving disputes in the banking, insurance and capital market sectors. Separately, where we have clear evidence that a FI has breached our laws or regulations, we will hold the FI to account.

5. If you have any queries, please feel free to contact me.

Christina Tan
Consumer Issues Division
Monetary Authority of Singapore

Ah Hai
30-12-2008, 03:40 PM
happy new year to all ...

Ah Hai
31-12-2008, 01:08 AM
Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Results - Mis-selling of credit linked notes
Based on 58 replies


2. Which notes did you invest in?
Minibond 29
High note 12
Pinnacle note 11
Jubilee note 3
Other note 3

3. Which distributors did you buy the notes from?
Hong Leong 23
DBS 13
Maybank 9
OCBC 3
Philip Sec 2
ABN Amro 1
Other 7

4. How much did you invest?
Less than $25,000 10
$25,000 to $50,000 18
$50,001 to $100,000 16
$100,001 to $200,000 11
More than $200,000 3

5. Have you lodged a complaint with the distributor?
Yes 55
No 3

6. Have they made you an offer for compensation?
No offer yet 35
Rejected my complaint 20
Offer 0 to 30% 0
Offer 31 to 50% 1
Offer more than 50% 1

7. How long did they take to make their decision, from the time that you lodged the complaint?
Less then 4 weeks 8
4 to 8 weeks 17
More than 8 weeks 21

8. Was the distributor fair in attending to your complaint?
Yes 15
No 30

Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 6:02 AM

Ah Hai
31-12-2008, 01:09 AM
Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Tip: Avoid performance chasing based on short-term returns

In a book entitled "Common Sense Investing", the author Jack Bogle said, "In selecting mutual funds, most fund investors seem to rely .... on exciting performance over the short term. Studies showed that over 95% of all investor dollars flow to funds rated four or five stars by Morningstar, the statistical service most broadly used by investors in evaluating fund returns".

These star ratings are based on a composite of a fund's record over the previous 3-, 5- and 10-year periods. It has a heavy bias in favor of recent short-term returns.

A study showed that a mutual fund portfolio continuously adjusted to hold only Morningstar's five-star funds earned an annual return of 6.9 percent between 1994 and 2004, nearly 40% below the 11.0 percent return on the Total Stock Market Index.

Jack Bogle selected the top 10 performers among the 851 equity funds during the "new economy market bubble of 1997 to 1999. These funds performed badly during the bursting of the bubble in 2000 to 2002. For the six year period, these funds earned a cumulate return of 13% for the full six-year period, compared to the cumulative return of 30 percent for the S&P 500.

For the shareholders of these funds, it was a disaster. While the funds achieved a net gain of 13 percent, the shareholders incurred a loss of 57 percent. Most shareholders invested in these funds when they were close to the peak and suffered the full effect of the downfall.

Jack Bogle's message is: avoid performance chasing based on short-term returns, especially during great bull markets.



Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 6:57 AM

Ah Hai
31-12-2008, 08:58 AM
Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Invest in the stock market
Dear Mr. Tan,
Should I invest in a capital guaranteed product that pays 2% for 2 years?

REPLY
If you have spare cash, you can invest in shares to earn the following:

a) STI ETF can earn a dividend yield of around 5%. Even if the dividend drops, you can still earn 3% or more.
b) REITs (real estate trust) can earn you a dividend yield of 10%. Even if the rental drop, you can still earn 5% or more.

Do not worry about the share price (ETF or REIT). If it drops, you can still wait and collect the dividend of 3% or 5%. Wait for the stockmarket to recover in 2 or 3 years or longer, in a worse case. You can get a gain of 20% to 50%. Be prepared to take risk and get a better return.

Do not invest in capital guaranteed product that earns 2% and locks you for 2 years.

Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 10:41 AM

Ah Hai
31-12-2008, 09:00 AM
Anonymous said...

Then you said we should invest in products like Minibonds related or structed products that give 10% interest but principle gone.

High Risk High Return. Low risk still can take back the principle.

We must learn from the lesson. Wakeup
December 31, 2008 12:10 PM
Anonymous said...

I agreed with Mr Tan.

The Capital Plus plan from NTUC Income is not worth to invest at all. 2% is not even sufficient to cover inflation.

I rather look at REITS. Some REITS are paying as high as 20% dividends. Just buy those GLC Linked REITS and you will never be wrong.
December 31, 2008 12:11 PM
Anonymous said...

Then we should invest those products that give high interest for 1year but NO Return of pricinple, right


"Do not invest in capital guaranteed product that earns 2% and locks you for 2 years."
December 31, 2008 12:22 PM
Anonymous said...

STI ETF total dividend for the year was 12 cents. How is the dividend yield of 5% computed? Thanks for enlightening.
December 31, 2008 12:46 PM
Anonymous said...

Capital gauranteed with 2% and locked for 2 years is like a sitting duck awaiting to be shot, sure die investment in real term.
With the current inflation at 5.5%, last year was 6.5%, this product guarantees you a loss of 3.5% for the next 2 years if inflation remains as it is.
Who would sell this type of product?
The unethical salesmen and FI whose interest is to make money.
Who would buy?
The ignorant and the kiasu and those who have been misrepresented by the greedy salesmen.
December 31, 2008 12:56 PM
ArtBoon said...

I will not invest using money that I cannot afford to lose.
December 31, 2008 2:01 PM
Everlearning said...

I don't find it attractive because the 2 years' duration to lock in a minimum of 30k is too l-o-n-g. Besides, when I read the terms and conditions I turned away from such deal.

Maybank is offering short-term durations: 4 months, 6 months, or 12 months and the highest interest rate is 1.75% for less than 30k fixed deposit.

No more guaranteed products for me. It just simply comfuse and make you unhappy!
December 31, 2008 2:21 PM
Anonymous said...

Sounds good. I have been putting money in FDs all my life. Hence never lose at all except maybe to inflation. Seems this is one good way to diversify by putting some into ETFs and REITs.

Mr Tan, thanks for such advice.
December 31, 2008 3:01 PM
Concerned said...

Capital Guaranteed products were actively promoted by banks during the last few years. The returns are miniscule compared to other type of investments. The return cannot even cover the inflation rate. The interest on time and saving deposits are also miniscule compared to other countries. Why is this so? Because the rich people outside Singapore deposit a very chunk of their savings here, in partiular the Thais and Indonesians. Thus banks are sloshed with funds and this depressed the interest rate for time and savings account here.
While returns on capital guaranteed products are low, the banks make use on the money collected and and invested all over the world with high returns.
Also do not invested in capital guaranteed products with trigger points set. The trigger points are set by those financial experts who calculated and bet than 90 - 95% of the time, the trigger points were not be achievable. All excess gains below the trigger points become the gains of the banks and nothing for the investor.
December 31, 2008 3:12 PM
Ghim Moh resident said...

A very good advice. 10/10.

Just wonder where to buy STI ETF?

I know stocks like M1 and SPH gives good dividend yield.
December 31, 2008 3:18 PM
Tan Kin Lian said...

Reply to 12:46 pm

The current price of STI ETF is $1.84. If the dividend for last year is 12 cents, the dividend yield is 6.5% (which is higher than the 5% estimated by me).

Even if the dividend is reduced by 1/3 due to the economic recession, the yield will still be more than 4%. It is quite attractive.

This is suitable for long term investors, who do not need to cash out the investments at short notice.
December 31, 2008 4:22 PM

Ah Hai
31-12-2008, 11:00 PM
Anonymous said...

Capital Plus guarantees a loss of at least 3% for next 2 years.
It is idiotic to invest in such instrument. The greedy agents just blindly sold this product to unwary old folks like Ah Sohs and uncles. They have no idea of inflation. They have no idea that they would lose, their money will shrink or lose the value by as much as 6%.
Why didn't ntuc agents disclose this fact that investing in capital plus was sure loss? Was there any suppression of truth? Were the customers misrepresented or mis-sold? Was there any fact finding?
If the customers were mis-sold or misrepresented it was tantamount to cheating the customers. The law was definitely breached. Is MAS aware of this?
Consumers who bought Capital Plus please re- examine your needs. You have 14 day free look to terminate your policy and demand a refund.

December 31, 2008 5:13 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

STI ETF and REITs, How long do we need to hold before it break even.

Is like FSL Trust bought at $1.50 now worth 0.49cents.

MM Reit bought at $0.98 now worth 0.52cents.

I rather leave the money with 1 or 2 percent interest than losing the Capital.

December 31, 2008 7:48 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is right. Did ntuc agents conduct a need anaylsis for you or counsel you about inflation? Putting money in this bum product is sure to lose. At the end of 2 years do you know how much of your capital will shrink?
Is there a gain in real term? Come on, how to grow your wealth. Ntuc agents and their new ceo don't care whether your money grows or shrinks. The ceo wants to improve the company's performance desperately using this dubious product and using the greedy and useless agents to accomplish his personal goal to look good..Do you know the company CANNOT make profit from this product? WHY sell? Answer is to dress up the bottom line to fool the board and to have a better marker share. Everybody loses except the greedy agents. Next year the ceo can boast that because of his foreign talent ntuc is now in second or third position , higher than before but still lost to his former company he helmed. How can?
I advise that you exercise the the free look and cancel it before your hard earned money is shrunk.

December 31, 2008 8:23 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used to shun equity, thinking that they are risky.
To play safe, I put money in Fixed income. End up what, loss all my principal!!!
I thought they were fixed oincome instrument, and at low interest rate of 5% cannot be risky.
Now what happen? People know / understand your weaknesses, and expliot the weaknesses of the risk adverse people. This is the most wicked people (adviser??? Financial expert???) I have seen!!!
Sad, but what to do. Next time must seek Mr. tan's advice and compare notes online before taking action!!
Don't fall into the trap again!!!

December 31, 2008 8:33 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello
I totally disagree with the comment "Capital gauranteed with 2% and locked for 2 years is like a sitting duck awaiting to be shot, sure die investment in real term.
With the current inflation at 5.5%, last year was 6.5%,...Who would sell this type of product?
The unethical salesmen ...."

If this argument is correct, than fixed deposits which pay 1.5% or so, are also "unethical"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! There is nothing unethical about any product which promises capital guaranteed. Some investors like simple products which doesnt require stock broker or internet tradingsystem. A single premium insurance which pays about 3% is an example. I have a couple of them and i love it.

The argument about keeping up with "inflation rate" is exactly the argument used by Minibond and Pinnacle sellers. They tell you it is silly to earn 3% interest because inflation is 5%, so please buy minibonds. In actual fact, inflation rate is a compounded figure of many items, some of which might be significant to one person, but not to others. I wouldnt worry too much about it.

Remember the only way to earn money is to work for it. We should not be greedy and think that IDLE money should reap huge profits for us. That is the greatest mistake one can make.

Therefore a product with 3% return with capital guarantee is perfectly good product, though the quantum may be considered low, It is completely unreasonable to say it is not ethical as explained above.
REX

January 01, 2009 12:06 AM
Blogger Jeremy said...

felt the need to reply since many singaporeans regularly follow your website and hence, may take your advice at face value.

You fail to warn readers of the risks involved in both your recommendations.

a) current financial crisis is acknowledged by many in the industry to be one of the worst ever experienced on a global basis, apart from possibly the Great Depression in 1929. 2-3 years for market recovery is a guesstimate, and it is possible that it take much longer. If that happens, and if equity performance weakens, merely collecting dividends and not being able to sell off the positions at a profit is as good as "locking in" your funds. For 3-5% return with unpredictable lock-in period is not advisable for risk-averse investors.

b) REITS may have a high dividend yield, but these are based on estimates of future cashflow at current property prices and rental income. Many REITS have been overly-optimistic in their forecasts made during the boom period. The promise of a high 10% yield suggests that it is a high risk investment, and may eventually end up being an unfulfilled promise also.

January 01, 2009 12:11 AM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you guys know how much commission is paid for this product? The commission is low. There is no best product, it has to depend on customer risk profile. If base on some of the comments, are you guys trying to say you will invest all your cashflow into ETF, Reits or Equities?

January 01, 2009 3:01 AM
Blogger Tan Kin Lian said...

My advice is for people with spare cash and is able to invest for the long term.

If you are invested in a well diversified fund, you avoid the risk of total loss due to the failure of any specific company.

In a bad market, when the stock values are down, you will still continue to get the dividend that the company is able to pay out.
During bad times, the dividend may be reduced, but is likely to give a better yield than the current level of fixed deposits.

Investing is for people with spare cash and is willing to stay for the long term.

If you earn 2% over 2 years, you still have to face the re-investment decision in 2 years time. Will the market be lower for you to invest then? Will you have teh courage to do so?

If you are investing for the long term, the prices are low now. The valuations are attractive.

January 01, 2009 6:25 AM
Blogger Tan Kin Lian said...

Hi 7:48 PM

I read about the FSL shipping trust in the Business Times. I asked my stockbroker for a detailed report.

They have long term contracts and their credit facilities is secured for a few years. The risk appears to be quite small to me (at least it is an acceptable risk).

I decided to invest at $0.45 cents, giving a yield of 35%. AT this dividend payout, the investor can get the principal back in 3 years. If the dividend is reduced, the payback period may be longer (say 4 to 5 years).

Based on the price ($1.50) that you invested in, you are still getting a dividend yield of 10%. It may take 10 years for you to get back your capital.

I expect that the price will get back closer to your purchase price when the global economy recovers. In the meantime, enjoy the good dividend.

January 01, 2009 6:33 AM
Blogger Tan Kin Lian said...

Hi Jeremy

The risk of a lower dividend payout for the ETF and REITS have already been factored into my general advice. I consider that a reduced dividend yield of 3% to 5% is still attractive.

There will be an attractive increase in the yield in the market price, when the global economy recovers.

Some people think that the recovery can take many years, judging from the last great depression. I think that it should occur sooner. But, this is a decision that each person should take for himself.

It is all right to take this risk, if you are a long term investor and you are well diversified.

January 01, 2009 7:01 AM

Ah Hai
31-12-2008, 11:01 PM
Thursday, January 01, 2009
MAS acting on complaints
Dec 31, 2008

I REFER to last Wednesday's letter by Mr Leong Kok Ho, 'Why MAS should handle complaints'. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) understands the anxiety of many investors who have bought DBS High Notes 5, Lehman Minibond Notes and Merrill Lynch Jubilee Series 3 LinkEarner Notes.

We assure investors that we are monitoring the financial institutions' complaints handling and resolution process. Our priority is to ensure that all complaints are handled seriously and impartially without the process becoming overly legalistic.

Independent parties have been appointed to review the resolution processes of the financial institutions concerned to ensure that these processes are independent, fair and transparent.

MAS has, in consultation with the independent parties, conducted on-site visits to assess the handling and review of complaints, including observing the internal review panels in action. We are working with the independent parties to ensure that each financial institution has a robust assessment framework to identify indicators of potential mis-selling and offer fair financial settlement where appropriate. The independent parties have provided feedback to MAS on how the financial institutions have applied the framework across a sample of actual cases. We are ensuring that the assessment framework is consistent across financial institutions.

Investors who are not satisfied with the outcome of the financial institution's review of their complaints may refer their complaints to the Financial Industry Dispute Resolution Centre (FIDReC) for resolution. FIDReC is an independent body set up to provide investors with an affordable and impartial avenue to pursue claims against their financial institution. The decision of the FIDReC adjudicator is final and binding on the financial institution, but not on the investor. If the investor is not happy with the decision made at FIDReC, he is free to reject the decision and pursue his claim through other avenues.

As part of MAS' formal investigations, we are looking at financial institution-wide issues, such as the financial institutions' due diligence on structured notes, the procedures used at the point of sale, and the training and supervision of relationship managers. MAS will take firm and appropriate regulatory actions where there are breaches of law or regulations by the financial institutions or their representatives. MAS is also working with the independent parties to ensure that any potential financial institution-wide issues identified in the course of investigations have been incorporated into the assessment of individual complaints.

Angelina Fernandez
Director (Communications)
Monetary Authority of Singapore
http://www.straitstimes.com/ST%2BForum/Story/STIStory_320293.html



Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 6:12 AM

Ah Hai
31-12-2008, 11:03 PM
Thursday, January 01, 2009
Credit freeze in Singapore

A few weeks ago, the Government took the bold step of guaranteeing all bank deposits in Singapore. This was to prevent the outflow of deposits to other countries that provided similar gaurantees. (Personally, I do not agree with this approach, as it continued to depress interest rate in Singapore).

Later, the Government provided some guarantee for banks to provide credits for business operations, subject to some due diligence. I remembered that the guarantee was for 50% of the lending.

I heard from a business friend that the guarantee had since been increased to 80 or 90 percent, but the banks are still reluctant to lend. (I have not verified this information). The unwillingness of banks to lend is causing some business failures - as they depend on credit to continue their operations.

In my view, it is a bad idea for business to depend on short term credit from banks for their operations. They should increase their capital or issue long term bonds that pay a higher rate of interest (say 4 to 7% p.a.). They can earn a higher return on their investment, so they can afford a higher and fairer payout to the bond holders.

To make these bonds attractive to long term investors, the guarantee can provide a guarantee on the principal and dividends and charge a guarantee fee to the issuer. This will allow the issuer to get a source of long term funding and do not have to worry about talking to the bank yearly.

This Government guarantee fee can be at a subsidised rate, to support the economy in its current phase. When the conomy stabilises, it can be done at the market rate, which depends on the risk. The Government can also set up a separate insurance company to provide the credit default insurance on commercial terms.

Summary: Encourage businesses to issue long term bonds to get a secure source of funds for their long term operations. The Government can provide a guarantee on these bonds (subject to due diligence and a guarantee fee), to help businesses to overcome the current economic turmoil.


Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 6:41 AM

Ah Hai
31-12-2008, 11:04 PM
Thursday, January 01, 2009
In memory of Mr. J. B. Jeyaretnam
Speech at Hong Lim Park, New Year's Eve Party

I wish to thank Chee Siok Chin for inviting me to this event and giving me the opportunity to speak a few words in memory of Mr. J. B. Jeyaretnam.

I do not know Mr. Jeyaretnam personally. I attended only one of his election rally in the late 1970s and only for a few minutes.

What I knew of him came mainly from reports in the newspapers over the next 20 years. They covered the unhappy events in his life, like defending against defamation suits or for infringements of certain regulations on his political activities. Like most Singaporeans, I had a somewhat negative opinion of him from these reports.

In July this year, my friend invited me to the inaugural dinner of the Reform Party that was just set up by Mr. Jeyaretnam. At the dinner, I decided to buy two copies of his books as a show of support. The book was a collection of his speeches in Parliament over the years.

My impression of Mr. Jeyaretnam changed quite completely after reading a few paragraphs from the book. Here was a man who was passionate about the well being of the people of Singapore and, especially in uplifting the life of the lower income levels in our society.

I realised that I shared many of his values and passion. I thought of finding the occasion to get to know him better as a person.

That opportunity is not gone forever. Mr. Jeyaretnam passed away suddenly a few months later.

Someone circulated an e-mail containing a tribute to Mr. Jeyaretnam. He described Mr. Jeyaretnam as a person who had done his best for what he believed to be good for Singapore and Singaporeans, and yet many Singaporeans did not know of him and his sacrifice. I decided to post this tribute in my blog.

A few people asked for signatures to an open letter to the Prime Minister to ask for the public service of Mr. Jeyaretnam to be recognised. I decided to join in and to help to get more signatures.

I was disappointed in getting only 25 signatures after a week, in spite of several efforts to publicise it. This number was so small, compared to an earlier signature campaign on the credit linked notes which collected nearly 1,000 signatures. Perhaps, Singaporeans did not see Mr. Jeyaretnam in a positive light or were afraid to be seen as supporting the call in the open letter.

I hope that, over the years, Singaporeans will get to know better of Mr. J. B. Jeyaretnam and what he has done for Singapore.

2008 has been a difficult year. 2009 will continue to be challenging. In spite of the uncertainties, let me wish all of you the very best for 2009 and the years ahead.

Tan Kin Lian
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 7:02 AM

PJ Boy
31-12-2008, 11:15 PM
1. TKL's motives are dubious. hard for me to believe that he would attempt to, or is capable of such an initiative.

2. when these people made $, they kept quiet. when the thing collapse, they start pointing fingers.

3. imo, the investors are quite lucky in the fact that this is is a at least, a regional financial issue - people in HK also got affected, and the HK govt is doing things in favour of the HK investores.
so, MAS here has to follow suit and do something decent as well.

What TKL's motives are is not relevant. Important thing do you get what you want. Besides, there are no other alternatives.

What the investors' motives are is not relevant as well because the argument is whether the law has been breached in selling the structured products.

Ah Hai
01-01-2009, 03:57 PM
Thursday, January 01, 2009
Results - Where to live
Here is a summary of 120 replies to this survey (shown in brackets). The results of previous survey based 52 replies are shown before the bracket. What facilities do you like to see within 0.5% of the place your live:

MRT (86%) 78.2%
Supermarket (71%) 64.7%
Food court/restaurant (67%) 63%
Wet market (54%) 49.6%
Shopping mall (46%) 38.7%
Bus interchange (40%) 37.8%
Good primary school (27%) 30.3%
Medical center/ hospital (29%) 26.1%
Sports center (19%) 21%
Good secondary school (21%) 20.2%
Community center (14%) 11.8%
HDB town center (12%) 11.8%
Any school (10%) 9.2%
Total (including repeats): (496%) 462.4%

I will use the results of this survey to compute the AQI (amenities quality index) for a housing project (i.e. condominium or neighbourhood). The index has the value of 0.0 to 9.9. An high index (9.9) indicates a place with good facilities within walking distance.
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 8:00 AM
2 comments:

Vincent said...

Total including repeats is 496%, meaning that people usually look at around 5 factors to decide where to buy their homes. Pulic transport and food- or necessity-related factors seem to be tops.
December 24, 2008 3:49 PM
Don said...

What about being near a park ?
December 25, 2008 12:53 AM

Ah Hai
01-01-2009, 03:58 PM
Thursday, January 01, 2009
HK: Finance chief given report on minibonds saga

Joyce Man
Jan 01, 2009

The banking and securities regulators handed a report on the minibonds saga to the financial secretary yesterday, three months after investors started complaining....

http://www.scmp.com/portal/site/SCMP/menuitem.2c913216495213d5df646910cba0a0a0/?vgnextoid=6706eaf33ad8e110VgnVCM100000360a0a0aRCR D&vgnextfmt=teaser&s=news
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 8:33 AM

Ah Hai
01-01-2009, 03:59 PM
Thursday, January 01, 2009
Book a taxi for $1
This service will be launched on 1 Feb 2009 (tentative). For people in a hurry, or willing to pay $1 for a taxi to come to your doorstep. Read here:
http://projects.easyapps.sg/tabs/about.aspx

Ah Hai
01-01-2009, 04:00 PM
Thursday, January 01, 2009
Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) information
Dear Sir,

I am Kay from moneytalk.sg. I have wrote a series of posts that discusses about the STI ETF in detail. The reason why I'm doing this is that I wish to create more awareness that STI ETF is a good form of investment that can give adequate returns if one is willing to hold in for the long term. Instead of putting their hard-earned money into risky products that offer poor returns, I hope more people can consider the STI ETF.

Some of the information in my posts include an explanation of the STI ETF, likely returns in the long run, dividend yield, when to buy it and a dollar cost averaging plan.

Thanks and all the best for 2009 :)

Kay
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 1:52 PM

Ah Hai
01-01-2009, 04:01 PM
Thursday, January 01, 2009
Survey on Distribution Cost of Life Insurance Policy

If you have bought a life insurance policy (i.e. whole, life, endowment, investment linked, or variation) during the past two years, you can participate in this survey:

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=AaicemJhQmUXu8DitwJm8Q_3d_3d
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 10:30 PM

Ah Hai
02-01-2009, 06:26 AM
Friday, January 02, 2009
Buyer beware and seller beware too
Business Times - 01 Jan 2009
By R SIVANITHY

AS A dismal 2008 rolls to a close, it's customary for us to draw up a wish-list for the new year. Last year, our list focused mainly on disclosure, particularly with regard to IPO prospectuses, short-selling positions and structured warrants. Some of these calls have been met - the Singapore Exchange (SGX) recently circulated a discussion paper on short-selling disclosure, and although IPOs were virtually non-existent in 2008, disclosures with particular reference to use of IPO funds have undoubtedly improved.

As for structured warrants, we are optimistic that it can only be a matter of time before SGX turns its attention to improving information dissemination in the segment. Having said that, which other areas could do with disclosure improvements in 2009? Before going into specifics, our preference is for a regulatory framework that not only stresses 'buyer beware' but should now also give equal emphasis to 'seller beware'.

For instance, the fiasco involving various failed structured products such as Lehman Brothers' Minibonds and DBS's High Notes exposed the very real possibility that those who sold these instruments did not adequately disclose the risks involved to hapless retail investors and yet appeared to have avoided accountability. Surely, these parties have to bear some responsibility for their lapses.

In addition, if an instrument is in essence one thing, the disclosure documents should describe that thing accurately and not imply something else - for example, the Lehman Minibond was an insurance policy to protect Lehman from defaults in debt instruments issued by five other banks but the prospectuses were cleverly worded to make it appear as if it was a bond issued by those five banks while Lehman's role was downplayed. This obfuscation started with the very name 'Minibond' which diverted attention from the product's true nature.

Stronger regulatory action would have been welcome but although it wasn't forthcoming, it isn't too late for the authorities to engineer a shift towards sterner penalties for parties that hide behind the fine print or legal disclaimers. In other words, if finance professionals don't call a spade a spade and try to conceal the true nature of a product they are selling, they should be penalised.

Similarly, we'd also like to see better disclosure on 'sell' side research reports, especially of how much risk there is to target prices, the extent of any investment banking relationships between the organisations in question for the past six months or one year and of the credentials and track record of the recommending analyst.

All of the above requires a stronger regulatory stance than what the market has become accustomed to since deregulation 10 years ago, which means that change has to start at the top.

For starters, SGX should scrap its controversial policy of privately censuring listed companies whose disclosures are less than satisfactory; and going public instead with all disciplinary actions. SGX says that it wants to have a range of measures at its disposal to tailor the punishment to fit the crime. Thus, if SGX judges a company's lapse to be minor and not having a material impact on the market and investors' decision-making, then a private censure is warranted, it argues.

But corporate governance advocate Mak Yuen Teen has already described the disadvantages of such a covert, private approach in a letter to this newspaper ('SGX should publicise all its enforcement actions', Nov 11). Suffice to say that the practice of judging what can be privately penalised and what might be publicly disclosed is in effect a step backwards to a merit-based regulatory system, the very system that the exchange sought to scrap when the market deregulated, giving way to a disclosure-based regime.

Perhaps the best suggestion we can make to the SGX and its overseeing body, the Monetary Authority of Singapore, is the same given to all listed firms, namely: a disclosure-based regime relies on full and public disclosure. If there're grey areas, then the correct approach should be 'when in doubt, disclose'.
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 8:00 AM

Ah Hai
02-01-2009, 06:28 AM
Friday, January 02, 2009
Survey - J. B. Jeyaretnam
Summary of 29 responses.

1. What was your opionion of Mr. J. B. Jeyaretnam in the past years?
I respected him 75.9%
Neutral 17.2%
I had a negative opinion of him 6.9%

2. Where was your main source of information about Mr. Jeyaretnam?
I heard him speak 37.9%
I read his book or publication 13.8%
I read reports from the newspapers 48.3%

3. Do you have a different opinion of him recently?
I have a more favourable impression 62.1%
My impressin remains the same 34.5%
I have a less favourable impression 3.4%

4. Did Mr. Jeyaretnam made a positive contribution to Singapore during his lifetime?
Yes 96.6%
No 0.0%
No opinion 3.4%

5. Do you wish to make any personal statement?

> Not only about Mr Jeyaretnam but of the Straits Times which I see now to be a biased newspaper not interested in justice but its own interests. JB Jeyaretnam is a giant among men and is a true Singaporean who selfless gestures brought him and his family much anguish. However, it is not totally in vain as it will make many Singaporeans realise how small they are in comparison with him. For the Straits Times, it is a shame that a national newspaper in a first world country can be so biased and one sided. It reflects poorly and negates the good deeds done by your esteemed bosses. Shame, shame, shame.

> I respected him for his courage and determination in fighting for what he believed in, while the whole machinery was totally working against him.

> A man full of courage, a warrior, a good man

> If S'pore has 5% this type of quality person (dare speak dare do) the Pupy will extinct instantly, but most chinese are kiasi...exercise your vote, please

> His greatest achievement was to break the one party system in Singapore.

> He was 1 of the few politicians in Singapore deserving of respect.

> JBJ is someone who cares about injustices and the suffering of the lower income group. I wish more lawyers are like him.

> No doubt, a selfless patriot who love this country and sacrificed very much for all Singaporean. He paid the price for his belief where no Singaporean dare!

> Mr. Jeyaretnam lives in the hearts of true Singaporeans forever.

> A true and daring opposition leader. never say die attitude and are able to take on the government headon without fleeing.

> I have the outmost respect for him, even while reading about him thru main media. However upon reading outside of mainstream controlled media, my view relative to several key people has changed.

> A great and humble man

> He is a man who we should respect for his dedication & courage to the causes that he believe in.

> We need more people like Jeyaratnam in parliament. That will help to improve the socio-economic lifestyle in S'pore.

> He was a good man. A prominent son of Singapore as well.
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 6:05 AM
1 comments:

Anonymous said...

less we get carried away, i think Singaporeans are generally sympathetic towards him.

Ah Hai
02-01-2009, 06:32 AM
Friday, January 02, 2009
Reply to Ho Yew Kee
Sent to Straits Times on 13 December 2008, but not publised.

Editor
Forum Page
Straits Times

I refer to the letter by Mr. Ho Yew Kee entitled “A mistake to overreact” (ST, 13 Dec 2008).

Mr. Ho said, “It would be imprudent for the stewards of town council funds to play it safe and place their reserves in fixed deposits or government bonds, as the returns would not even offset the inflation rate.” He also said, “Corporate bonds provided a yield of 4 to 6 percent, but the corporate have different credit ratings”.

In my view, it would be prudent for the town councils to invest in corporate bonds, provided that the investments are spread over several corporate bonds to reduce the impact of the failure of some of these bonds.

In fact, over 10,000 people were sold the credit linked notes. They were misled into believing that they were investing in a basket of 5 to 8 of the entities, which were financially strong companies or sovereign governments.

They were told that if one entity should fail, they would only lose their invested sum on a proportionate basis. If 1 of 8 entities failed, their loss would be 12.5%.

They were shocked to learn later that they were actually selling credit insurance against the failure of any of these entities. If any single entity failed, their entire principal would be lost. Instead of spreading the risk proportionately over 8 entities, they were taking 8 times of the risk of any single bond!

In addition, their principal was actually invested in a portfolio of 100 to 150 underlying securities, which could comprise of collateralised debt obligations of lower rating. This has additional risk to the investors.

The combined risk of failure of “toxic” credit-linked notes is very high. This explains why many of these notes have failed totally, compared to bond funds.

The stewards of the town councils, who have access to professional advisers, should explain if they were aware about the nature of the credit-linked notes and if the return of 5% is insufficient to match the risk. If the town councils were also misled about the nature of these products, it is their fiduciary duty to take appropriate action to recover their loss.

Several local government bodies in the UK were also misled into investing in similar high-risk products. They took legal action and were able to obtain a court decision to rescind the contracts. I urge our town councils in Singapore to do the same.

Tan Kin Lian
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 8:00 AM

Ah Hai
02-01-2009, 06:35 AM
Chan J C said...

Dear Mr. Tan

Thanks for sharing.

You mentioned that

"... Several local government bodies in the UK were also misled into investing in similar high-risk products. They took legal action and were able to obtain a court decision to rescind the contracts..."

Could you kindly post such cases for our reference?

Thank you sir.
JC
December 15, 2008 3:15 PM
Wayangnologist said...

"Sent to Straits Times on 13 December 2008, but not publised."


There, THATS the response.
December 15, 2008 3:28 PM
Anonymous said...

Mr Tan,

I can understand why ST didn't publish it.

Because you describe the issues so clearly and simply and it hurts the other side because they cannot rebut it.

That's why it is good to turn to alternative media like the blogs and internet.

I hope the gahmen linked ST should be aware that this is not the past, but the internet age. Their policy on this is behaving like an ostrich.
December 15, 2008 3:33 PM
Anonymous said...

The 2% or any return rate published by the town council, does it factor in inflation?

If not, that could be a negative return rate and it is not worth keep the fund?
December 15, 2008 4:33 PM
Anonymous said...

Did they have the knowledge to keep and grow the fund ?
Were they misled into buying the products ?

They are in a Catch 22 position, but they are still not giving the public and residents a good answer !

It is so easy, answer A or B !
A) They are not competent enough.
B) They are also victims in the saga.
Sorry no choice "C".

We are still waiting for the truth.

Hope the MPs will follow up the issue.
December 15, 2008 5:49 PM
vertigoer said...

The thing is why does Town council have to horde our money?

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/singaporelocalnews/view/390407/1/.html

S$4 million is 2.6 percent of Pasir Ris-Punggol.

That means they have a fund of S$153 million.

Do we need to spend S$153 million in a year for simple services?
http://www.prpg-tc.org.sg/cms/services.php

http://www.punggol.sg/forum/community_issues/pasir_ris_punggol_town_council_s4_million_exposure _to_lehman_brothers-t18993.0.html;msg64195#msg64195

From here, 80,000 household. means, TC is holding around $1912 of my money!

If not why, do they need to keep collecting so much of our cash?
December 15, 2008 6:16 PM
BondGone said...

Just like the Town councils who thought they are buying a bucket of Corporate Bonds, we bought these MiniBond, High Notes and Pinnacle Notes because they sold them using the big name Corporations with AA+ ratings as "Bait" but they do not operate like Corporate Bond at all. If this is like corporate Bond that pays 5% interest, I am suppose to have the other Bonds in my Bucket even with one or two collapsed.
December 15, 2008 9:01 PM
Anonymous said...

The Straits Times is controlling information to the masses. This is dangerous as it is manipulating information to its ends. This has no place in a democratic society.
December 15, 2008 9:44 PM
Anonymous said...

Maybe the best approach is a super huge class action, unprecedented in the Singapore history of consumer protection. The key defendants shall include everyone who had a hand in perpetrating this debacle, from the sales people to the distributors and product originators.
The CEOs and senior managements of bankrupted corporations must be investigated and the guilty ones charged and punished for their sins.
After all, the long arm of the law is indeed long and unyielding, if only the governments have the resolve and spirit of co-operation in combating these frauds.

By RTA
December 15, 2008 10:22 PM
Anonymous said...

Mr. Tan

ST may have lost your mail.

Just try to send to them again and CC to MND. Mr. Mah will know what to do.

If ST really refuse to publish, you got no choice, but to seek help from TOC to put at their headline, more and more people are reading TOC now.
December 15, 2008 10:22 PM
Anonymous said...

Our Town Councils with deeper pockets, financial & legal advice at their disposal should in the first place initiate legal proceedings if they had been misled. Why are they so quiet?? Millions of dollars of tax-payers' monies are at stake!! Where is the transparency & accountability!!!
December 16, 2008 12:37 AM
Anonymous said...

Well honestly even if the town councils take legal action our courts will not rule in their favour as our courts are also gahmen linked and hence, the court will not rule against the gahmen.
December 16, 2008 9:30 PM
Jeremy said...

Banks are big advertisers for ST. I presume they do not want to risk alienating their big clients even if it means that they hold back information that is newsworthy.

It is difficult for any mass media that generates revenue from advertisers to be unbiased.
December 18, 2008 1:23 AM
Anonymous said...

Mr Tan

[A] Excellent reply. Grave regret for not being published by ST.

[B] I have another concern.
- How can Town Council accumulates so much reserves in the first place.
- How come the reserves was not published to residents. I stay in an OLD CONDO and the accounts are presented regularly.

From CASHEW NUT
December 26, 2008 5:56 PM

Ah Hai
02-01-2009, 06:35 AM
Ho Yew Kee said...

Dear All,

It was never my intention to side the government or town council for the losses but to provide a view that we should not be far too hard on the volunteers who had dedicated their time to serve in the TC.

Guess, there are two possible tests (where one is impossible to perform now):

a. What would we have done if we are to invest the reserves of the TC then? (Context: inflation runs at 4% to 6.5%). Hindsight is 20/20.

b. What do we do now with the reserve given the fact that fixed deposit rate is close to zero and there may be good opportunities for cherry picking but we may also lose our shirts? What would we do if we are to serve in the TC now in the context of this furore?

I assure you that it is never my intention to defend the TC but to ensure that people do not get discouraged that one mistake may have wiped out their entire life or years of good works as volunteers in TC. No wonder most trustees or volunteers would not even want to explore "higher" returns for reserves because such efforts have little "upside" (ie. people would not thank you for the service because this is what you are supposed to do, this is tax payer money, this is charity dollars etc.....) but plenty of downside (ie. "why did you not be more prudent and careful when you invest", "you should know better..."). Or in the words of a writer "Who is going to answer for the losses ? Without a system of accountability in place, how can residents be assured that a repeat mistake will not occur again?"

Servng in the TC becomes a catch22 situation. If you dont get higher yield, you are not doing your job. If you chased after higher yield investment, you bear higher risk and if you lose, money, you are not being careful or in the words of one writer that the volunteers are either incompetent or have been misled.

Barring the complexities of the instruments which resulted in the losses, we faced an epic episode in the history of finance, namely, the collapsed of some of the largest investment banks in the world. No one would have foreseen that.

I apologise if my letter caused you anguish or any misunderstanding in my intention.

Wishing you a happy new year.


Yew Kee
January 01, 2009 10:32 PM
vertigoer said...

Mr Ho, if TC don't have large reserve then there won't be a situation on a) and b) issue.

If TC was only holding $1 million dollars in reserve, I don't mind $12.50 (80,000 household) be left to option a).

Mr Ho, please comment on this.
January 02, 2009 6:39 AM
Tan Kin Lian said...

Dear Ho Yew Kee

Thank you for giving a reply in my blog.

I do not blame the Town Council for making the investment. Like the ordinary folks, they have been misled.

Having been misled, it is their duty to take legal action against the distributor (for not giving proper information on the product) and against their professional advisers.

The Town Council should not just let the matter passed.

I repeat the calls in the last two paragraphs of my letter:


The stewards of the town councils, who have access to professional advisers, should explain if they were aware about the nature of the credit-linked notes and if the return of 5% is insufficient to match the risk. If the town councils were also misled about the nature of these products, it is their fiduciary duty to take appropriate action to recover their loss.

Several local government bodies in the UK were also misled into investing in similar high-risk products. They took legal action and were able to obtain a court decision to rescind the contracts. I urge our town councils in Singapore to do the same.
January 02, 2009 8:37 AM
Anonymous said...

Ho Yew Kee has got everything wrong.

It is about Credit-linked Notes sold to 'Unsuitable' persons - the ordinary people.

It is about TC's investing in risky CLNs that both principal & invest payment will get wiped out! Do not simply cite inflation as an excuse, please be clear that it is the CLNs that TC decided that the people's money should take a gamble that matter!

Know what U talk and Talk what U know!
January 02, 2009 8:54 AM
Anonymous said...

Ho Yew Kee claims "never my intention to side the government or town council".
Yet he totally ignores the main points repeatedly mentioned by TKL.

Either
a) TC had been misled and ought to now take action against the distributor or advisors
Or
b) TC knowingly invest residents money into high risk product even though the return is not commensurate with the risk involved, they dont care because it is not their money.

By ignoring the main points, it is clear to everyone Ho Yew Kee is on which side of the camp.
January 02, 2009 9:06 AM
Anonymous said...

Dear Mr Ho Yew Kee,

In replying your questions:
a. What would we have done if we are to invest the reserves of the TC then?
b. What do we do now with the reserve given the fact that fixed deposit rate is close to zero ..?

MY ANSWER is clear that TC should NOT invest in structured notes type of products.

[1] RISKY PRODUCT: It is a very risky product. RISK is a function of market condition and structure. Structured Notes are sitting on UNSAFE structure.

[2] STEWARDSHIP: Principal protection is more important than return because being TC RESERVE means it is reserved for future use for the benefits of residents. Residents expect the TC committee to be STEWARDS and not FUND MANAGER. I think the role must be clear.

[3] UNDERSTAND THE PRODUCT: It is a complex product. I think the management committee of TC will have problem understand the product, and it would be even more difficult explaining it to residents.

You said: "Serving in the TC becomes a catch22 situation...?" I propose you look into the committee responsibility from a STEWARDSHIP perspective, instead of a FUND MANAGER perspective; then you will feel more comfortable to PROTECT CAPITAL even when the return is lower.

I hope to have cleared the confusion caused by your letter.

From CASHEW NUT
January 02, 2009 11:30 AM

Ah Hai
02-01-2009, 09:27 AM
Thursday, January 01, 2009
Survey on Distribution Cost of Life Insurance Policy

If you have bought a life insurance policy (i.e. whole, life, endowment, investment linked, or variation) during the past two years, you can participate in this survey:

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=AaicemJhQmUXu8DitwJm8Q_3d_3d
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 10:30 PM

13 Comments

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Mr Tan,

Just wanted to know why buying Insurance policies must go thru' an agent (Assuming that the potential policyholder knows what he wants and does not need the services provided by the insurance agent) whereas unit trust can purchase via on-line? (without any agent to represent).

Can the potential policyholders who wanted to purchase policies avoid going thru an agent and make the purchases directly thru the Insurance company.

In this case, the potential policyholders can SAVE a substantial amount by reducing the distribution costs.

Thank you,

YM

December 29, 2008 9:56 AM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The FSA UK will remove commission by 2011 as a means of remuneration. It will be substituted by fees.In other words insurance products will not carry a commission or a small nominal commission for product pushers or a deep discount.The consumers will benefit from this change by paying a fee and they get responsible advice at lower cost than the embedded commission.
Cost is inversely related to return. Higher cost means your return and protection is low .This is the reason today Whole life and endowment are NOT value for money.
The operating cost of the company has gone up very much, especailly when CEO asking million dollar salary, senior management paid 3 times higher than before and every staff demanding higher pay. Who pays for them? You the consumers. Cost is high, investment return is low, where can can you get value for money for whole life or endowment?
You must as well invest on your own by using BTITR.
Nowdays,to hide the low protection and return the insurance company covers up with a lot of rubbish like retrenchment benefit, annuity conversion, 3times death beneift from accident, and OTHER CRAPS TO FOOL the customers.Customers don't buy craps.The basic benefits to look at are protection and return.
These 2 will give the peace of mind.

December 29, 2008 10:14 AM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Insurance products should be available directly to savvy consumers
at a steep discount, commission free.
With or without insurance agents any difference?
Yes, you don't get screwed up by them.
No, you still get the product.
Hope there is a portal which sells insurance product without commission.

December 29, 2008 7:38 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

scrap commission and introduce fees and let's see how creative but unethical insurance agents go around them.
If MAS enforces the need based under section 27 and remove the commission that will knock the last nail to coffin of product sellers and pushers.Hope they will be introduced asap.

December 29, 2008 10:21 PM
Blogger Falcon said...

Mr Tan tried to do that during his last few months in Income. He tried to remove the high commission by allowing policyholders to deal directly with the Business Centre. This is a good strategy that has two aims. One is to benefit directly the policyholder in terms of cost savings. The other aim is to stimulate and provide competition so insurance agents will try to improve their product knowledge and service standards in order to justify the premiums earned by them. Even I, an ordinary policyholder, can see that but the top management of Income cannot see that and succumb to the populist move to discredit Mr Tan as many powerful agents with links to the leadership lobby for his removal. It is the ordinary policyholders who are now poorer for it.

December 30, 2008 12:15 AM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Knowledge and skill ntuc agents are lacking. They could sell because of the brand name built up by Mr. TanKL over the last 30 years. Cooperative was Mr. TKL and consumers trust the name not because of the skill of the agents.Today, although ntuc is no longer a cooperative poeple still trust. Many people still don't know that the products are no more value for money. NTUC revosave is very expensive and return is so low and agents misrepresented them.
Now the new management is trying to call ntuc social enterprise.It is a big bullshit. It is no surprise that this new team is rewarding themselves with policyholders' money and refund them poor return.

December 30, 2008 9:15 AM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I did not know that NTUC Income is now no longer a co-operative. I thought it is still a co-operative but have a commercial CEO to do the dirty work.

December 30, 2008 4:40 PM

Ah Hai
02-01-2009, 09:28 AM
Anonymous said...

This foreigner is a big time product pushers. The new products rolled out by him are meant for pushing. Just name which product by him is useful as a financial vehicle to address financial needs. Revosave is rubbish. Which area of needs can revosave address? Maybe at the best diluted. It is a little of this and that..intended to deceive. Ask him and his senior managers and the so called financial consultants , salesmen in disguise, whether they buy revosave. I bet none maybe some idiotic consultants, the blur ones.
MAS must audit this company, everyone and the agents for mis-selling and misrepresentation.
I wonder how many victims who have their finances screwed up by them.

January 01, 2009 11:07 AM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Today the products are more expensive because the cost of operation has gone enormously.Every wants high pay.Who is paying for them?It is obvious the consumers.
The worst hit products are the whole life and the endwoment. They shouldn't be sold for a number of reasons, poor protection and return .
But they are the most popular with agents and the companies because they are lucrative. The suckers are the consumers who are saddled with long locked in, poor return, low protection and many other penalties.
Consumers should realise that these products are to be avoided and don't let insurance agents fool and cheat you into buying.
Those who bought them and have no idea how they work for you , should bring this up for review when Mr. Tan set up the association, FISCA. You will be shocked that you have been walking around with a time bomb because of your greedy agents who didn't put your interest first.

January 01, 2009 3:16 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

NTUC is only cooperative in name.The agents are non cooperative. They only want to sell you products with the highest commission and not products that meet your financial needs.They are no longer caring and honest. The misrepresneted the products to make you buy, eg like revosave although they know the product doesn't help you and add value to your financial future.
The products are rip off without money for value and they are shoved down the throat of the man in the street because they are too trusting.
The management is high and mighty and has no touch with the ground. They dine and wine in high and posh places with policyholders' fund. They are good at wayang. The truth is they are hiding the truth.

January 01, 2009 5:53 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Tan, quickly set up the FISCA and help to review these people's policies to check if they were taken a ride by their insurance agents.
It seems more people are distrusting the agents. The insurance agents are getting bad reputation as being dishonest and unethical. But be careful, many have changed their titles to consultants. Example, the ntuc salesmen have changed to financial consultants. Some even have senior and executive to the titles. Anyway ,we know ntuc insurance agents are all product pushers. They can change to fanciful titles but they still can't consult or advise, so no point having titles like these.They can bluff other people but they can't bluff us.They can't hold a financial calculator how can they be called a financial consultant..This is misleading and misrepresenting. It is cheating and cheating is serious. MAS must know about this. I wonder ntuc informed MAS about the titles.

January 02, 2009 12:28 AM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aiyah, so many good men and women has been warning the new policyholders not to buy these policies, but how many listen? For us old policyholders if no more people buy then our payout for our policies will be badly affected. Already they are losing so much money recently and coupled with their high dine and wine approach the returns are going to be worse from now onwards. Let these new policyholders buy lah, after all they are not our money. If more people buy then at least our existing policies will not be affected in payout that badly. Who knows, maybe if many many new policyholders buy then our returns will become better.
So please buy more so the new foreign management can wine and dine more and be happy then give us back more. Huat Arh!!!

January 02, 2009 3:31 AM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As you have said more money to them means more money to spend. Do you know it it sending a few hundred greedy agents to Goldcoast . The last time they spent 1 million to Ho Chi Ming. What do you think of the amount this time?
Anyway not their money but your and mine. After spending they can blame it on investment loss...Maybe another round of bonus cut..cut cut until no need to cut even during the worst time.
Some one was saying that NTUC no need to cut bonus next year when others might cut. BUt he forgot that ntuc cut 45% already much earlier than the rest.
But foreign managemnt is clever They make every body happy, the agents and the staff and whatever they do no one can notice, lah.

January 02, 2009 12:26 PM

Ah Hai
03-01-2009, 06:49 AM
riday, January 02, 2009
Results - Rating of Politicial Leaders
Here are the ratings based on 50 replies.
The rating is: 1=low respect, 3 = neutral, 5 = high respect.

JBJ 3.83
CST 3.71
LTK 3.39
TT 3.31
LKY 3.02
KBW 2.90
LHL 2.67
SJ 2.65
GCT 2.60
TCH 2.60
CSJ 2.55
... plus 4 more
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 10:25 PM
7 comments:

K Das said...

I am surprised with the rankings showing now. My all time favourite is GCT. He should be in the super league with LKY and JBJ. Another well liked politician (as Minister by the public and as excellent leader/boss by staff) and rising star is TCH. Ranking does not seem to do justice to him. CSJ deserves much more for his intellect, guts and perseverance. I am afraid CST and LTK should not be there where they are and they are miles off match to the likes of JBJ, David Marshall and Dr Lee Siew Choh
January 03, 2009 12:20 AM
Anonymous said...

What is the rating for SR Nathan? Why not post it to see how the highest office bearer of our country is rated by Singaporeans?
January 03, 2009 12:44 AM
Tan Kin Lian said...

Hi K Das

You have to accept the views of 50 people. The rating do not match my own views (and I did not vote), but I wanted to know what other people think.

It appears that those who voted are "anti-establishment" and that the pro-establishment are not visiting my blog, or are also not happy with the "establishment".

Let us see if the rating changes, when 100 people have given their assessments.
January 03, 2009 2:40 AM
C H Yak said...

Hi Mr Tan

I guess you now get my previous point about survey results being "biased" if it is through an open survey of this sort through the internet.

Unless it is a marketing survey like "what taste of Cola" is preferred by the general public, this method may still work if you post it on your blog.

If it is a survey to gauge the response to your website, it may still work.

To be really meaningful you must pick 100 people who are representative of the whole population, and send them this questionaire. This target is dependent on the AIM of the survey. And if 25 do get back, it would be a pretty good sampling.

Even if you hand this same questionaire to 100 people at HLP, the results may still be biased, because it should be 100 people walking on the street instead.

To interpret based on 100 replies, the target "population" should be at least 400~500 people who must be representative, and not just only 100 people who tend to read your blog.
January 03, 2009 10:42 AM
Ghim Moh resident said...

I had difficulty reading some of the short forms.
January 03, 2009 11:06 AM
Anonymous said...

PAP members did not do that well not because the voters were "anti-establishment". I would look at it as they have not performed up to the high expectations and hope that we have in our leaders.
January 03, 2009 12:01 PM
K Das said...

Dear Mr. Tan,

Please don't get me wrong. I have a solid mind of my own and anti-establishment and pro-establishment sentiments do not cloud my thinking.

If my constituency happens to be a single ward and Chew Soon Juan were to contest there I would vote for him (despite all things said about him), short of he taking on a Minister. To me a Minister represents the Government and in defeating him you are rejecting the Government symbolically. This is unacceptable to me because I want to continue to have a PAP government now and for the foreseeable future. The problem would arise if all constituencies were to go GRC helmed by Ministers. My wish is that the Government reduce or make redundant the GRCs for single ward constituencies. We can explore other means to ensure minority representation.

Likewise if you were to contest for Presidency, I have no qualms about voting for you. For me Presidency is an independent institution in some way de-linked to the government. But if you were to join forces with like-minded people to contest in the GE as a GRC team. I am not for it. I suspect you may win and this may precipitate the emergence of a new formidable force, which can be unsettling to many and to Singapore given the current realities. If political arena is your calling, come over to my imaginary single ward constituency where my vote for you is assured subject to the Ministerial caveat of course!

You are a good man. May God’s grace be with you. All my best wishes to you.
January 03, 2009 12:03 PM

Ah Hai
03-01-2009, 06:51 AM
Saturday, January 03, 2009
Thought for the Day: study of history
Contributed by Ho Cheow Seng

"The study of history is a powerful antidote to contemporary arrogance. It is humbling to discover how many of our glib assumptions, which seem to us novel and plausible, have been tested before, not once but many times and in innumerable guises; and discovered to be, at great human cost, wholly false."
- Paul Johnson
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 3:37 PM

Ah Hai
03-01-2009, 11:34 PM
Saturday, January 03, 2009
Rating of political leaders
Rating of political leaders, based on first 50 and 100 responses.
1=low rating, 3=neutral rating, 5=high rating

Leader 50 resp 100 resp
JBJ 3.83 4.02
CST 3.71 3.65
TT 3.31 3.43
LTK 3.39 3.34
LKY 3.02 3.10
KBW 2.90 3.00
SJ 2.65 2.77
TCH 2.60 2.71
GCT 2.60 2.70
CSJ 2.55 2.67
LHL 2.67 2.65

Excluding lowest 4 ratings.
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 9:51 PM

Ah Hai
05-01-2009, 02:50 AM
Sunday, January 04, 2009
Survey of Taxi Drivers on SMS booking
http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=NvyTAfd_2faaNY1x3YRfEsWA_3d_3d
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 9:06 AM 0 comments Links to this post
The mortgage crisis explained

http://clusterstock.alleyinsider.com/2009/1/the-mortgage-crisis-explained
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 6:27 AM 0 comments

Ah Hai
05-01-2009, 02:51 AM
Monday, January 05, 2009
Partial retreat from globalisation
RBS's shift towards its home market is a microcosm of what most banks are doing all over the world.

And as banks do their patriotic duty and direct their increasingly precious and scare capital resources towards their domestic markets, the amount of credit available in the world as a whole is being compressed.

What's going on can be seen as a partial retreat from globalisation in the financial economy.

The scale and longevity of that retreat in this new year will determine all our economic fortunes, wherever we may be in the world.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/robertpeston/2009/01/british_banks_have_to_lend_mor.html#top

Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 3:38 AM

Ah Hai
05-01-2009, 02:52 AM
Monday, January 05, 2009
A survey is useful, in spite of its limitations
I am actively using surveys in this blog. I find the results to be useful, as follows:

> It collects the views of a larger number of persons (instead of one person's views)
> Usually 25 replies are sufficient, as results are usually close to a larger sample
> The respondents are usually random and generally unbiased.

There are obvious limitations - hence the results have to be used with caution. Furthermore, it is important to phrase the questions fairly, so as to obtain useful answers.

Some people argue that it is important to select a proper sample. I agree, but this is costly and difficult to achieve. In the absense of this budget and luxury, a simple sample survey on the internet is better than nothing. As someone said, "knowledge is everything".

I wish to encourage people to use sample surveys to gather information for business and social decision.
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 7:29 AM

Ah Hai
05-01-2009, 02:54 AM
Monday, January 05, 2009
Website to post results of surveys
I wish to ask for a volunteer to manage a blog to post the results of the surveys. I need the survey results to be presented in a chart (where appropriate) and to write some comments. This person should be able to use an appropriate software (e.g. WordPress or Blogger). If you are interested to spend time on a vountary basis, send an e-mail to [email protected]
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 8:53 AM

Ah Hai
05-01-2009, 02:55 AM
Monday, January 05, 2009
Feeder service

Survey:
http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=scXwXJF8mtnVGQ2i806Zbg_3d_3d
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 9:37 AM

Ah Hai
06-01-2009, 04:00 AM
Tuesday, January 06, 2009
Survey - life insurance policy
This is a summary of 24 replies.
http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=AaicemJhQmUXu8DitwJm8Q_3d_3d

3. Did the agent give you a benefit illustration for the life insurance policy?

Yes - the agent explained the content clearly 50.0%
Yes - the agent did not go through the content clearly 45.8%
No - I did not receive it 4.2%

4. How long did the agent explain the benefit illustration?

Less than 15 mins 41.7%
15 mins to 1 hour 29.2%
More than 1 hour 29.2%

5. Did the agent explain the "distribution cost" to you, as shown in the benefit illustration?

Yes - I am clear 21.7%
Yes - but I am not clear about it 13.0%
No 65.2%

6. Can you check the amount of distribution cost that is shown in the benefit illustration. How do you feel about this amount?

It is a fair amount to pay to the agent as commission 21.7%
It is too much to pay to the agent 78.3%

7. Would you have bought the life insurance policy, if the distribution cost has been explained to you?

Yes 50.0%
No 50.0%

8. Do you prefer to pay seperately for independent financial advice ($200 to $500), so as to save on the distribution cost that is embedded in the policy?

I prefer to pay for independent financial advice 66.7%
I prefer to have the distribution cost embedded in the product 33.3%

9. Should it be made compulsory for the distribution cost to be put in bold on the front page of the benefit illustration?

Yes 91.7%
No 8.3%

10. Should the Authority place certain limit on the distribution cost, not to exceed a certain percentage of the yearly premium?

Yes 100.0%
No 0.0%
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 8:30 AM

Ah Hai
06-01-2009, 04:00 AM
Tuesday, January 06, 2009
Survey – a service to business
1. Introduction
Knowledge is everything. It is important for a business to know what its customers, employees and other stakeholders think and what drives their behaviour and action.

A survey is useful in getting information that can help you to make the right decisions.

We provide a service to help you to design the survey questions and to give you a link that you can send to your target audience. They click on the link to reply to the survey. It is easy.

We will give you a weekly progress report until the survey is closed.

2. Cost
The cost is modest. You pay a fee of $1 per survey reply, subject to a minimum of $100 per survey. There is no additional charge to create the survey form of up to 15 questions. For each additional question, there is a charge of $3.

3. Contact us
If you are interested in this service, send an e-mail to [email protected] with the following:

Your name:
Your company name:
Your e-mail:
Your mobile nr:

A list of survey questions
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 10:11 AM

Ah Hai
07-01-2009, 03:24 AM
Wednesday, January 07, 2009
Life in Singapore

How do you feel about life in Singapore?

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=BXcsoNS8Zotk8ES_2fDxsL1g_3d_3d
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 8:06 AM

Ah Hai
07-01-2009, 03:26 AM
Wednesday, January 07, 2009
Life in Singapore
This survey is popular. 25 people responded within 1 hour. Here is a summary of the replies.

1. Your age group

Below 20: 0.0%
21 to 30: 13.0%
31 to 40: 21.7%
41 to 50: 26.1%
51 to 60: 30.4%
Above 60: 8.7%

2. Your annual income

Below $10,000: 21.7%
$10,001 to $20,000: 8.7%
$21,001 to $30,000: 4.3%
$31,000 to $40,000: 4.3%
$40,001 to $50,000: 4.3%
Above $50,000: 56.5%

3. Please indicate your feeling about the following aspects of life in Singapore
Very unhappy = 1, neutral = 3, very happy = 5

Safety 4.12
Law, order 4.08
Multi-racial culture 3.52
My neighbours 3.36
People I work with 3.32
Environment 3.32
Quality of life: 3.30
Climate 3.24
Time to spend with family 3.08
Adequate wages 16.0%: 2.92
Transport system 2.84
Education system 2.80
Time to enjoy 2.68
Singaporeans in general 2.64
Foreign workers 2.64
Government leaders 2.64
National Service 2.38
Taxes, GST, Govt charges 2.24
Cost of living 1.96
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 10:02 AM 0 comments Links to this post
Life in Singapore

Ah Hai
08-01-2009, 03:29 AM
Wednesday, January 07, 2009
Life in Singapore (2)
Here is a summary based on 50 responses. This is a popular survey.

1. Your age group

Below 20: 0.0%
21 to 30: 18.4%
31 to 40: 30.6%
41 to 50: 18.4%
51 to 60: 28.6%
Above 60: 4.1%

2. Your annual income

Below $10,000: 18.4%
$10,001 to $20,000: 6.1%
$21,001 to $30,000: 8.2%
$31,000 to $40,000: 4.1%
$40,001 to $50,000: 4.1%
Above $50,000: 59.2%

3. Please indicate your feeling about the following aspects of life in Singapore
Very unhappy = 1, neutral = 3, very happy = 5

Safety 4.22
Law, order 4.04
Multi-racial culture 3.43
Environment 3.42
People I work with 3.25
My neighbors 3.22
Quality of life 3.10
Time to spend with family 3.10
Climate 2.98
Singaporeans in general 2.84
Adequate wages 2.82
Time to enjoy 2.76
Education system 2.65
Transport system 2.59
Government leaders 2.45
Foreign workers 2.45
National Service 2.44
Taxes, GST, Govt charges 2.12
Cost of living 1.94
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 5:53 PM

Ah Hai
08-01-2009, 03:30 AM
Wednesday, January 07, 2009
Constructive total loss of vehicle
Dear Mr Tan,

I bought a comprehensive motor insurance on my vehicle. Unfortunately, I met an accident and the the insurance company informed me that they are only willing to pay me based on the OMV of my car (PARF and COE $28,800/-) value plus cash of $1,000/- ( approx $30,000/-). My vehicle is coming to 5 years old, the cost of repair is estimated to be around $15,000/-.

They claim that it is no longer economical to repair the car. May I know my position in this situation.

REPLY
Under the insurance policy contract, the insurance company has the option to pay the current market value of the vehicle, instead of repairing it. This is called a "constructive total loss".

Usually, if you get the current market value, you will be able to buy a vehicle of similar age and condition as your insured vehicle. If you find that it is not possible to get a replacement vehicle, you can discuss with the insurance company to find a better solution.
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 6:53 PM

Ah Hai
08-01-2009, 03:32 AM
Wednesday, January 07, 2009
HK regulator: HK suffered a mis-selling issue
http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific_business/view/400786/1/.html

7 Jan 2009

HONG KONG: Hong Kong's securities regulator on Wednesday insisted the city's monitoring system had stood up to the financial crisis, despite criticism complex products were wrongly sold to vulnerable investors.

"Hong Kong's system has broadly worked well," said Martin Wheatley, chief executive officer of the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC). "We have not had a systemic failure."

Wheatley said the fact that Hong Kong had so far avoided the collapse of any major financial institutions or a huge fraud on the scale of disgraced US financier Bernard Madoff showed its regulatory regime had worked well.

Madoff was arrested on December 11 after allegedly admitting he had run a multi-billion dollar pyramid fraud in which individual investors, banks, charities and universities lost vast sums of money.

Wheatley conceded the city had suffered from a "mis-selling issue" over the sale of so-called minibonds backed by failed US bank Lehman Brothers.

However, he said it was too early to say if the banks who sold the products or the regulators were to blame.

Critics have accused the city's regulatory bodies of failing to protect investors from the derivative-backed products.

"We have got a problem with retail selling, we need to put that right," he said at Hong Kong's Foreign Correspondents' Club.

More than 40,000 Hong Kong investors – including many retirees – had put a total of 15.7 billion Hong Kong dollars ($2.0 billion US dollars) of their savings into minibonds and other complex products backed by Lehmans.

The collapse of the Wall Street giant in September meant the value of their investments dropped dramatically, which has sparked protests across the city from investors who said they were mis-sold the products.

The SFC and the city's de factor central bank, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, are investigating hundreds of cases related to the sale of the bonds.
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 8:22 PM

Ah Hai
08-01-2009, 10:13 AM
13 Comments


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very often the issue is not the products but the sellers. Miss-selling is about the sellers, a human, a manipulative human who can turn the product upside down. Miss-selling is so common among insurance agents, the bank salespeople and unless it is stopped a lot of consumers' hard earned money will go up in smoke. The key player in this game is the regulator, the enforcer and the referee .If the game is left to be played without the referee, the salespeople and FIs will gang up to cheat the consumers.It is so clear that this has been going for so long and all the consumers' heard earned money have flowed to the pockets of the FIs and the insurance agents. It is time the tide should turn against these people.MAS has this responsibility.

January 07, 2009 8:58 PM
Blogger Tan Kin Lian said...

Hi 8:58 PM

In the case of the credit-linked notes, the issue is mainly the product.

If the product had been properly described and explained, nobody would buy it. And the distributor would not sell it.

Due to its complicated nature, and the misleading description in the prospectus, the product was mis-understood by the distributors and their sales employees. This led to mis-selling.

It makes no sense for a credit linked note to be organised with credit default swaps and a portolio of underlying assets. There are no investor or depositor who need this kind of product. If they wish to gamble, they should go to a casino.

January 07, 2009 9:12 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

DEAR MR TAN KIN LIAN
I salute your clear and concise point on structured products. Thanks for sticking out your neck.

I want to add. Even if the authority thinks the product is suitable, it does not mean the authority should allow it to be sold OVER-THE-COUNTER. For example: We cannot buy CONTACT LENS and VIAGRA from the Pharmacy. We need it to be prescribed by optometrist or doctor. ie no OVER-THE-COUNTER sale.

The professional who prescribes must understand clients needs, advice professionally, explain the side effects clearly etc. In addition, doctor prescribes drug based on client's need; and not based on the drug available by drug company.

From CASHEW NUT

January 07, 2009 9:29 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

MR TAN KIN LIAN,

[1] I salute you for posting and enlightenment.

[2] I salute Martin Wheatley, CEO of Hong Kong SFC to make the following HONEST and FRANK comment.

[a] ... Wheatley conceded the city had suffered from a "mis-selling issue" over the sale of so-called minibonds backed by failed US bank Lehman Brothers. However, he said it was too early to say if the banks who sold the products or the regulators were to blame.
[b] ... "We have got a problem with retail selling, we need to put that right," he said at Hong Kong's Foreign Correspondents' Club.

From CASHEW NUT

January 07, 2009 9:34 PM
Blogger Chan J C said...

Dear Mr. Tan

Your point is absolute concise and not arguable.

Given the two possible option that HK authority is looking into:-

1. to blame the the banks who sold the products or

2. to blame the regulators

However, maybe there is a 3rd possibility in Singapore is

3. SG investors "walk in with their eyes open seeing" such products mechanism and still buy.

Putting 1, 2, and 3 together, even someone of any age without any education would also know which statement is non-sense.

Regards

January 08, 2009 12:02 AM
Anonymous Sanity said...

Mr. Tan, I agreed with you that the issue is with the product and your analysis.

However, I personally feel that the distributors (experts) should understand the products well before they sell them to the people.

If the experts are unable to comprehend the prospectus, how can anyone expect the normal investors/depositors to do so.

Going forward and if it is true that the distributors are also misleaded, have they pursue the matters with the issuers (Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch? If they do, am sure alot of people will like to know the status.

January 08, 2009 2:00 AM
Blogger Tan Kin Lian said...

Hi Sanity,

I agree that the distributor has a responsibility to understand the product and to explain it correctly.

January 08, 2009 8:12 AM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems dishonesty is rampant these days. Even Satyam of India has unraveled some accounting fraud . Dressing up the account or cooking up the book is so common. Don't know who to trust.
I wonder those insurance companies who are very aggressive in their marketing blitz and splurging on their agents with posh hotel meetings, wine and dine and exotic incentive trips are cooking up their books too.
When a company does that it benefits the shareholders, the senior managers and the insurance agents. The suckers are again the consumers and policyholders.

January 08, 2009 9:18 AM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Gate-keepers, MAS should have banned the products in the first stance as they are incomprehensible,dubious & toxic! By allowing the products to be lodged with it, MAS has given the wrong notion by implication that the products are ok.

January 08, 2009 10:45 AM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks for your info. you are one stop information centre. better than any other media.

January 08, 2009 12:19 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The days of insurance agents are numbered. It will be pay back time for many and for some they will have to pay many folds more than they fleeced from their customers. Some may have to serve behind the iron bars and dining and drinking (alcohol not allowed)for free. No, at tax payers' money.
Be positive. Imagine away on an incentive holiday trip and lodging in a big posh 7 star hotel or a resort by the sea. Insurance agents are good at this. They can switch on and off from negative to positive by listening to a tape or watching a video. They can fantasise. They have the SECRETS from Ronda Byrne or the Laws of Attraction.
With glib tongue and skill of lying it is not difficult to compete with the retrenched . At the worst be contented working for the fast food outfits and of course the public toilets which need people with different skills.
The day of reckoning is here and it is just the beginning.

January 08, 2009 12:26 PM
Blogger Chan J C said...

Hi Mr. Tan and Sanity

If distributor has responsibility, then how do we account for their scant rejection letters to all investors' complaint without any reason?

Regards

January 08, 2009 12:35 PM
Blogger Concerned said...

If those credit-linked products were sold directly by the orginators, Lehman Brothers, Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch, etc
very few people will buy it. It is sold through distributors where the local populace believed and trusted them. These institutions have a responsibility to ensure the products they distributed are good for money and not some synthetic CDOs packaged as triple A notes or bonds. Surely, those FIs would have in-house financial experts who would have been briefed by the originators of those products and evaluated the structure, risks and rewards of those products before putting them out to the public. The internal lawyers would also have looked at the prospectus and together with the internal experts made a recommendations to the management to distribute those products or not.

January 08, 2009 1:57 PM

Ah Hai
09-01-2009, 02:59 AM
Friday, January 09, 2009
HK: Minibond saga sparks rethink of bank rules

Enoch Yiu and Maria Chan
Jan 09, 2009
Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah yesterday ordered “ an immediate review” of Hong Kong’s financial regulatory structure after both the Securities and Futures Commission and the Monetary Authority issued reports on last year’s Lehman Brothers minibond fiasco.

The government will first focus on “ administrative measures” to improve existing regulations and better protect investors. These would include a cooling-off period for buyers and restricting the sale of investment products at bank branches.

“Later we will carry out a structural review that may be required for improving the regulatory structure and protecting investors as well as other measures that need to be implemented through legislation or legislative amendment,” Mr Tsang said.

The SFC wants laws changed to give it the power to order financial intermediaries to compensate investors in the event of misselling or other irregularities.

In the longer term, consideration should be given to establishing a financial services ombudsman, both regulators say.

A government source said the administration would soon issue a consultation paper on how and when to implement short-term measures.

In the longer term, the government wanted to review the entire regulatory structure for banks’ securities businesses. This would include whether to allow banks to use their branch networks and teller staff to sell investment products.

Mr Tsang ordered the review after the government released reports submitted by the HKMA and the SFC on the minibond crisis.

When US bank Lehman Brothers collapsed in September, 43,700 Hong Kong investors were left holding derivatives it had issued or guaranteed but which had lost much or all of their value. Most were minibonds, which, despite their name, are complex, credit-linked derivatives. Investors claim banks and brokers mis-sold the products as low-risk.

The SFC and HKMA called for tighter oversight of the sale of financial products but rejected – at least in the short run – a call for a single regulator to oversee their sale.

At present banks and their securities businesses are regulated by the HKMA. The SFC regulates brokers but is also responsible for investigating and sanctioning bank staff who sell investment products.

The HKMA report recommended that all bank security business be brought under its supervision.

Both the SFC and HKMA reports said having the same bank branch sell investment products and handle client deposits created a conflict of interest.

The SFC said banks may consider establishing a clear-cut division between their banking and securities services by registering separate subsidiaries or affiliates with the SFC.

“ This is not the only way, however, that such separations of functions can be achieved,” the SFC report said.

There could be “a clear demarcation of premises and staff to avoid confusing customers as to the nature of the services being offered”.

Both reports called for introducing a cooling-off period for investors within which they could cancel their investments, as well as a requirement that intermediaries disclose the commissions they receive for selling such products.

The SFC would also require all investments to contain a brief description of the product and include a “risk reminder” for investors.

Both reports rejected calls to ban the sale of investment products without regulatory approval.
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 10:05 AM

Ah Hai
09-01-2009, 03:00 AM
2 Comments


Blogger Chan J C said...

"In the longer term, consideration should be given to establishing a financial services ombudsman, both regulators say."

If there isn't any wrong-doing pointing at certain government authority, why is there a need for "financial services ombudsman". This is rather obvious.

January 09, 2009 10:31 AM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

MAS should also see the current practices be changed for all financial institutions, the banks and the insurance companies, from the products check to the ways the salesmen sell and also the commission. MAS must play a more proactive role in supervising , regulating and enforcement. Look into these 4 areas the environment will be safer for the consumers.
Now the consumers are wary of the products, the RMs and the insurance agents and the FIs. MAS must see that these players play by the rules and no double standards...Stringent and regular audit must be carried out on them to ensure that they toe the line.
Better still have a watchdog to check, like the FISCA which I hope will be formed. FISCA can play a very critical role by exposing and checking on all the players including the regulator.As the whistle blower if there is irregularity.

January 09, 2009 10:36 AM

Ah Hai
09-01-2009, 03:01 AM
Friday, January 09, 2009
Keeping seniors at work
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong spoke at the Reinventing Retirement Asia Conference organised by the Council of The Third Age. He urged “no let up in keeping seniors at work”. He said that outmoded social attitudes and systems have to change, and that seniors should continue to work beyond the customary retirement age.

I agree.

Read the rest of the article here:
http://theonlinecitizen.com/2009/01/keeping-seniors-at-work/

Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 10:45 AM

Ah Hai
09-01-2009, 09:58 AM
2 Comments

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also agree with Mr. Lee. This is exemplary leadership! And the senior Mr. Lee can attest to it and is leading by example.

I think if one can work, why not? What is the worth of one's life, if not to contribute back to society?

Live to work, work to live.

Well done, Mr. Lee!

January 09, 2009 12:38 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Leave it to market forces. Or what other forces?

These forces will decide whether you will be paid $1 million a year or $600 pm. Or whether you will be retrenched (or retired) at 40 or will still work at 85 and with millions per year.

Unless the gahmen employ these old people directly. Nothing said by ministers or laws enacted will change anything if the system is shaped by an open economy (free flow of capital, "foreign or cheap talent) like Singapore.

January 09, 2009 1:48 PM

Ah Hai
09-01-2009, 09:59 AM
Friday, January 09, 2009
HK Govt;s report on Lehman Brothers

http://www.fstb.gov.hk/eng/minibond/HKMAminibond.pdf
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 1:27 PM

Ah Hai
09-01-2009, 10:00 AM
Friday, January 09, 2009
New business ideas
A reader of my blog is curious about my intention to publish a survey about booking for a taxi by SMS.

I am developing a new business to allow customers to book for a taxi using SMS for $1. The technology is almost ready. My survey indicate that many commuters are interested to use this service. My challenge now is to enrol taxi drivers to join this service.

I also want to develop a new business to offer surveys to SMEs at a modest cost. This allows them to gather information from their customers, business associates and employees. It helps them to improve their business.

The cost of a survey is $100. It is affordable. The value of the information is worth a lot more. Some people are familiar with the use of Survey Monkey. They can get the survey done for free. But other business owners, who are not familar with this software, have the option to pay $100 to get this survey done for them.

The curious people may also ask - why am I developing these new businessses, when I am quite well off and able to retire. I hope to pass the businesses to younger people, so that they have meaningful jobs and a good future.
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 1:33 PM

Ah Hai
09-01-2009, 10:02 AM
Friday, January 09, 2009
Rating of political leaders
Rating of political leaders, based on first 50 and 100 responses.
1=low rating, 3=neutral rating, 5=high rating

Leader 50 resp 100 resp 150 resp 200 resp
JBJ 3.83 4.02 4.01 3.73
CST 3.71 3.65 3.55 3.43
TT 3.31 3.43 3.40 3.33
LTK 3.39 3.34 3.35 3.24
LKY 3.02 3.10 3.13 3.08
KBW 2.90 3.00 2.94 2.89
CSJ 2.55 2.67 2.69 2.73
GCT 2.60 2.70 2.67 2.68
SJ 2.65 2.77 2.65 2.60
TCH 2.60 2.71 2.64 2.58
LHL 2.67 2.65 2.52 2.50

Excluding lowest 4 ratings.

Most of the ratings based on 200 responses are quite close to the initial rating based on 50 responses. It suggests that the initial results based on 25 or 50 replies are quite reliable.

Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 4:00 PM 16 comments Links to this post

Ah Hai
09-01-2009, 10:30 PM
19 Comments

Anonymous Anonymous said...

LHL is ranked lowest consistently in both responses. So what?

What really matters is he is rated highly among the PAP MPs. That's why he is PM!

Mr Tan, such ratings initiated by you are actually quite irrelevant, just like the petitions you sent to the authorities. Irrelevant because they make no impact, no difference to the course of events.

Maybe you should rethink your strategy beyond rankings, surveys, statistics, blogs and Hong Lim gatherings(you have ended it for good).

January 04, 2009 12:33 AM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Tan,

I think the survey shows the majority of the visitors to your blogg is anti-establishment.

January 04, 2009 11:32 AM
Blogger Tan Kin Lian said...

Hi 11:32 AM

I suspect that many of the visitors to my blog have lost a lot of money on the mini-bonds and other credit linked notes, and they are disappointed at the response of the authority. This makes them appear to be "anti-establishment".

January 04, 2009 11:40 AM
Blogger Falcon said...

LHL is not ranked lowest in both responses as alleged by Anon 12.33 am. It always baffled me that the country has people who cannot even analyse a simple survey yet want to criticise just for the sake of criticising. I suspect our president is the one who is ranked lowest in both responses, even though I do not have the information since it is not revealed.
I participated in the survey and surprisingly, my inputs were mirrored quite closely with the release of the survey results for 11 of the personalities surveyed.
I did not lose any money in the minibond saga. I am still actively investing all this time and still able to make good percentages in my investments. In fact, my most recent investment netted me over 40% profit and I will be collecting the profit tomorrow.
I am also not "anti-establishment".
Let me share my thoughts on why I voted this way.
JBJ has my highest rating because he has demonstrated his fighting spirit even until death. His indomitable spirit spanning decades has my highest respect and he has achieved many first, including breaking the ruling party dominance, indeed an uphill task. He has also not been indicted in any scandal or unfair or dishonest dealings. So we have an honest man, whom the PAP machinery could not uncover any dirt. What he believed and stood for is clear for anyone to see.
LKY got a slightly higher than medium rating from me because of his many past mega achievements and for what he has done for Singapore. However, his ratings got negated by the fact that his recent performance, or lack of it, especially his few major strategic political errors he has made in recent years, lowered his ranking in my mind.
TT got a fairly high ranking because of his no nonsense and steady performance but did not get the highest ranking because of his involvement with Temasek. He still got a higher ranking from me than LKY because he is not that active in making strategic errors relating to the human heart.
KBW got a relatively high rating from me than the other bigwigs because of his steady and factual approach. Somehow his ranking is lower than what I have voted for partly I think is because of the continued high costs of healthcare and means testing but I am with him on means testing but a little bit concerned with the fact that rich foreigners are able to get immediate medical attention while subsidised Singaporeans have to be put on waiting lists even for major medical conditions like cardiac problems.
CSJ got a relative high rating from me because of his never say die attitude and his sacrifice for his fellow Singaporeans even though some of his antics are also not popular with the masses and me.
LHL got a low rating from me but not the lowest, I reserved that for SRN.
LHL got a low rating from me because of his lack of leadership in the many issues that arose in the past months. I expected a sharper response from the Prime Minister of a first world country and I could not see him demonstrate that. But he is a sincere man though that is not good enough for me as I have the highest expectation of a Prime Minister.
SRN got the lowest rating from me because of the impression that I get of him just existing for the highest position in the land. In my opinion, he is not a people's president as he is not seen to be actively safeguarding the people's rights and concerns. He seems quite contented to be just saluted and accorded twenty one gun salutes on national events.
I am giving this candid appraisal in the hope that everyone who got lower ratings than they expected to work harder to win the hearts and minds of the masses and for those who have got high ratings, with the exception of JBJ, to work even harder to maintain their high ratings.
This is also for Tan KL, to let him know that his surveys are taken seriously, and not just by people who lost money or are anti-establishments or who cannot make it in life or who have money problems. There are real people out here who are logical and analytical who takes part in his surveys are are not afraid to be counted to play his part as a Singaporean.

January 04, 2009 5:44 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What have JBJ and CST done to help the plight of this group of marginalised people?

January 04, 2009 7:12 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To prevent this blog from creating the impression that is is becoming antigovernment, I think a lot depends on the background of those who are involved in the survey.
I may have nominated Mr Tan Kin Lian to be the hopeful president of Singapore, however, my utmost respect is always with Mr Lee Kuan Yew.

January 04, 2009 9:16 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A survey is... just a survey.

Not ranking PAP ministers high = anti-establishment?

For goodness sake, all Tan Kin Lian did was open a survey, invited readers of his blog, most of whom are anonymous to him to fill up the survey.

Suppose you choose 100 random strangers from the street, ask them to complete the same survey and got the same result, are you going to conclude that the people from that street are mostly anti-establishment just because they did not rank PAP highly?

Grow up friends. A survey is just a survey. If you want to see skewed statistics that always show PAP high on the score, you can always skip this blog and just buy a copy of Straits Time.

January 05, 2009 6:37 AM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

May I know who are: CST, TT, SJ & CSJ?

January 05, 2009 9:29 AM
Blogger soojenn said...

As Falcon said of Anon 12.33 - it is baffling that the country has "people who cannot even analyse a simple survey yet want to criticise just for the sake of criticising.". Also why remain anon. My views are similar to Falcon who has succinctly describe reasons for the ratings that he/she ahs given. I am also not anti establishment. The survey is relatively balanced as you can see that LKY is among the top 5 being from the establishment. One gives credit where it deserves. LHL is a far shadow from his father. Even GCT has done better during his reign as PM. Instead of viewing this survey as a possible feedback from the people, netizens in this case, and understand the reasons behind this, you have one of these people (possibly pro establishment), who sees this as criticism and not constructive feedback.

Relevance is not the issue. It is interesting to understand how netizens view the current politicians since we will never be able to get this out from the mainstream media, especially with editors like Ms Chua Lee Hoong who profanes outright in her articles on the opposition, quoting from Singapore enquirer "the outright disrespect and contempt displayed by the mainstream media against Singapore’s opposition as exemplified by the same writer’s (Ms Chua Lee Hoong) malicious assault on Dr Chee’s character in a previous article, have ailenated and peeved many Singaporeans off, including those who are politically neutral."

009 11:11 PM

Ah Hai
09-01-2009, 10:35 PM
Anon 12.33 also writes - "Mr Tan, such ratings initiated by you are actually quite irrelevant, just like the petitions you sent to the authorities. Irrelevant because they make no impact, no difference to the course of events."

* Why does he/she feel that this is irrelevant - to him/her only?
* What makes him/her think that there is no impact, no difference to the course of action?

Anon 11.32 writes - "I think the survey shows the majority of the visitors to your blogg is anti-establishment." - do you mean that majority of the 890,114 visitors so far to TKL blog is anti-establishment. Come on. I have also not purchased any mini bonds.

Anon 6.37 - "A survey is... just a survey.....If you want to see skewed statistics that always show PAP high on the score, you can always skip this blog and just buy a copy of Straits Time."

January 05, 2009 6:28 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Especailly with Chua Lee Hoonng the writer . She is a gahmen propagandist

January 05, 2009 9:36 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Falcon
My wife salute your analysis - independent, logical and straight to the point.

From CASHEW NUT

January 05, 2009 10:56 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The sad thing is that the survey will never translate into votes ( partly because of GRC and partly because some contituencies will never have an opposition candidate standing )

January 06, 2009 12:31 AM
Anonymous Century said...

"I suspect that many of the visitors to my blog have lost a lot of money on the mini-bonds and other credit linked notes, and they are disappointed at the response of the authority. This makes them appear to be "anti-establishment"."

erm. biased survey ?

January 06, 2009 7:56 AM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

After trying for a few days, still could not figure out TT and SJ. Can some kind soul drop some hints without revealing their names? Thank you very much.

Rdgs
Still trying hard

January 06, 2009 9:36 AM
Blogger Falcon said...

Anon January 05, 2009 9:29 AM asked:
May I know who are: CST, TT, SJ & CSJ?

Chiam See Tong, Tony Tan, S Jayakumar & Chee Soon Juan.

Thanks Cashew Nut for your wife's salute and SooJenn for your comments.

January 06, 2009 11:10 AM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Falcon for enlightening.

Rdgs,
Still trying hard

January 06, 2009 3:31 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone able to tell who are the 4 lowest ratings?

I dont see Wong Kan Seng on the list above.

January 09, 2009 6:06 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some people commented that this survey is biased and voters are anti establishment. I disagree.

TT has a high rating.

In SG it is fashionable to condemn a person for even very very minor mistake or wrong doing. Yet, for all the atrocious past deeds of LKY all are forgotten or forgiven and he still earns a high rating.

If voters are anti establishment then I say LKY would not even be listed, ie fall out of the list since it will be right at the bottom far below LHL.

January 09, 2009 10:16 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I did not take the survey on Politicians because I don't know them all. Among those more prominent in the news, I would rank LKY, TT, CST higher than LHL, CSJ.

We should not generalize that those who read Mr Tan's blog are minibond victims or anti-govt.

I first came to know Mr Tan's blog at the height of Lehman's saga. I gain lots of insight reading Mr Tan's advice on Insurance. I took part in his survey on Life Insurance Policy because he raised a very VALID point, which no one has raised in Parliament yet(?)

I am not anti-govt, nor pro-opposition. I access each candidate for their merits.

Just like LKY has ensured MULTI-RACIAL HARMONY, I hope to see LSL work to reduce unhealthy POLITICS sentiments; and also to be MORE PROACTIVE and to RESPOND to the voices/cries of the people, especially during this difficult times. Hence I rank LSL quite low, but LKY very high. Nothing to do with PAP or not.

January 09, 2009 11:11 PM

Ah Hai
09-01-2009, 10:39 PM
Friday, January 09, 2009
Survey - Life Insurance policy

If you have bought a life insurance policy (i.e. whole, life, endowment, investment linked, or variation) during the past two years, you can participate in this survey:

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=AaicemJhQmUXu8DitwJm8Q_3d_3d
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 10:30 PM

Ah Hai
09-01-2009, 10:40 PM
Friday, January 09, 2009
HK Legco fire set for finance chiefs after holidays
Legislator Raymond Ho Chung-tai said the Legislative Council probe on the Lehman Brothers minibonds saga will restart after the Lunar New Year.

Monetary Authority chief executive Joseph Yam Chi-kwong and Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury Ceajer Chan Ka-keung will be the first officials to be summoned, Ho said.

They will be followed by Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah and Securities and Futures Commission chief executive Martin Wheatley.

Ho expects the hearings to last six to nine months.

http://www.thestandard.com.hk/breaking_news_detail.asp?id=11714&icid=3&d_str=20090109
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 11:18 PM

Ah Hai
09-01-2009, 10:41 PM
Friday, January 09, 2009
SCMP:Regulators' reports on Lehman minibond fiasco f
9 Jan 2009
Enoch Yiu, Maria Chan and Paggie Leung

Legislators and brokers are disappointed with regulators’ reports into the lessons learned from the Lehman Brothers minibond scandal.

The reports by the Securities and Futures Commission and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority carry recommendations including having a cooling-off period in which investors can cancel their investments, and tightening banks’ techniques in selling investment products.

The HKMA also recommends it exclusively regulate banks’ securities business, a role it shares with the SFC.

Kenny Lee Yiu-sun, the chairman of the Hong Kong Stockbrokers Association, said there was a danger the cooling-off measure could be abused. He said some people who lost money because of market movements instead of mis-selling might take advantage of such measures.

“There should be some preventive measures if the recommendation is implemented,” Mr Lee said. He disagreed with giving the HKMA the sole role of regulating banks selling securities products.

Lawmaker Kam Nai-wai, who has actively helped Lehman minibond investors fight to get their money back, expressed dismay at the report: “It does not include any help to existing victims, as there are no measures addressing their concerns.”

However, Mr Kam supported recommendations including establishing a financial services ombudsman and not allowing banks to sell investment products over deposit counters.

Peter Chan Kwong-yue, the chairman of the Allied Victims of Lehman Products, said the reports failed to solve the key problems.

“They are just speaking after the fact,” Mr Chan said. “Someone gets shot by an arrow and [the HKMA and SFC] are not going to save the injured but ask where the arrow came from to avoid getting shot in the future. It’s nonsense to talk about this now.”

Asked about the plan to give the HKMA more authority to regulate banks, Mr Chan said it could help prevent incidents similar to the “misselling” of Lehman minibonds.

A senior banker said it would be clearer if the HKMA took on the role of regulating banks’ non-banking business, but it would be difficult to implement the cooling-off period.

Billy Mak Sui-choi, an associate professor in the department of finance at the Hong Kong Baptist University, agreed the HKMA taking on a sole role was one way to improve the current two-regulator model.

“Regulators who are responsible for the supervision will have to bear all the responsibility, and they can’t blame the other.” Mr Mak said a cooling-off period would allow customers who buy products impulsively to reconsider their decision, helping minimise future disputes.

A spokesman said the SFC would work with the government and HKMA to improve the regulatory structure and investor protection.
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 11:21 PM
1 comments:

pisces said...

The Report did not touch the SFC's failure on regulating Minibond Prospectus.

Minibond Prospectuses (for many serious) had omitted material fact consistently.

Minibond was sold as Credit Linked with 7 reference entities, with AAA-CDO collateral and international credits.

In fact, the collateral is Synthetic CDO which is credit linked with 100+ reference entities. A Synthetic CDO's value is decided by its credit risk of the reference entities.

Attached is a similar porduct sold in Jan.2006 in Australia, also by Lehman and the CDS counterparty was Lehman Special Finance. The underlying SPV is Saphir.
This prospectus had a proper discription on the notes / how the money is to be invested / how the reference entities to be selected / how the default event would impact the principal/interest payment / etc.

It showed what was missed in the Minibond Prospectus in Hong Kong.
So much about the SFC's role.
So much about banks' due diligent.

http://www.mahoganycapital.com.au/mahogany/PageAttachmentServlet?PageID=4762

a few extracts from the Mahogany Prospectus:
(i) Mahogany's prospectus mentioned that it is credit linkted to the [ 50 + (150+50) ] entities for various purpose.

(ii). (page 8) Quote: "An investor in this notes (PLN-portfolio linked notes) does not lend money directly or indirectly to the entities in this portfolio.
An investor lends money to the issuer, and the Issure in return agrees to repay invested and to pay interest."
Page 8 has lots of (real) quality description on how the money will be used.
January 10, 2009 12:00 AM

Ah Hai
09-01-2009, 10:42 PM
Saturday, January 10, 2009
SCMP:More claims for compensation by investors to be heard in court
http://www.pressdisplay.com/pressdisplay/showlink.aspx?bookmarkid=XLOJAU7GY907&linkid=277a14c9-c247-49a3-a4f1-74c1ee1008c2&pdaffid=8HM4kDzWViwfc7AqkYlqIQ%3d%3d

9 Jan 2009

The Small Claims Tribunal may refer to the District Court more of the compensation cases filed with it by investors in financial derivatives linked to collapsed US bank Lehman Brothers. Seventeen investors yesterday brought cases against four banks that sold them minibonds and similar derivatives. Representatives of two of the banks, DBS and Bank of China, requested that the District Court hear the cases. They were adjourned until March 23, when the tribunal will announce whether or not it will refer the cases. It is considering whether to transfer to the court 13 similar cases. The tribunal handles claims for up to HK$50,000.
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 5:56 AM

Ah Hai
09-01-2009, 10:44 PM
Saturday, January 10, 2009
BBC: The financial cost of Redundancies
Making redundancies could lead to a significant financial loss for both employer and employee, an expert warns.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/em/fr/-/2/hi/business/7750146.stm

Ah Hai
09-01-2009, 10:45 PM
Saturday, January 10, 2009
Looking for a job in 2009?

Are you likely to look for a job in 2009? In view of the recession, are you prepared to consider non-standard job options? Do you need help?

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=UGnK0ze4ToY402Ra2E37jw_3d_3d
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 7:11 AM

Ah Hai
09-01-2009, 10:50 PM
Friday, January 09, 2009
Survey - Life Insurance policy

If you have bought a life insurance policy (i.e. whole, life, endowment, investment linked, or variation) during the past two years, you can participate in this survey:

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=AaicemJhQmUXu8DitwJm8Q_3d_3d
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 10:30 PM

23 Comments


[COLOR="Blue"]Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Mr Tan,

Just wanted to know why buying Insurance policies must go thru' an agent (Assuming that the potential policyholder knows what he wants and does not need the services provided by the insurance agent) whereas unit trust can purchase via on-line? (without any agent to represent).

Can the potential policyholders who wanted to purchase policies avoid going thru an agent and make the purchases directly thru the Insurance company.

In this case, the potential policyholders can SAVE a substantial amount by reducing the distribution costs.

Thank you,

YM

December 29, 2008 9:56 AM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The FSA UK will remove commission by 2011 as a means of remuneration. It will be substituted by fees.In other words insurance products will not carry a commission or a small nominal commission for product pushers or a deep discount.The consumers will benefit from this change by paying a fee and they get responsible advice at lower cost than the embedded commission.
Cost is inversely related to return. Higher cost means your return and protection is low .This is the reason today Whole life and endowment are NOT value for money.
The operating cost of the company has gone up very much, especailly when CEO asking million dollar salary, senior management paid 3 times higher than before and every staff demanding higher pay. Who pays for them? You the consumers. Cost is high, investment return is low, where can can you get value for money for whole life or endowment?
You must as well invest on your own by using BTITR.
Nowdays,to hide the low protection and return the insurance company covers up with a lot of rubbish like retrenchment benefit, annuity conversion, 3times death beneift from accident, and OTHER CRAPS TO FOOL the customers.Customers don't buy craps.The basic benefits to look at are protection and return.
These 2 will give the peace of mind.

December 29, 2008 10:14 AM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Insurance products should be available directly to savvy consumers
at a steep discount, commission free.
With or without insurance agents any difference?
Yes, you don't get screwed up by them.
No, you still get the product.
Hope there is a portal which sells insurance product without commission.

December 29, 2008 7:38 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

scrap commission and introduce fees and let's see how creative but unethical insurance agents go around them.
If MAS enforces the need based under section 27 and remove the commission that will knock the last nail to coffin of product sellers and pushers.Hope they will be introduced asap.

December 29, 2008 10:21 PM
Blogger Falcon said...

Mr Tan tried to do that during his last few months in Income. He tried to remove the high commission by allowing policyholders to deal directly with the Business Centre. This is a good strategy that has two aims. One is to benefit directly the policyholder in terms of cost savings. The other aim is to stimulate and provide competition so insurance agents will try to improve their product knowledge and service standards in order to justify the premiums earned by them. Even I, an ordinary policyholder, can see that but the top management of Income cannot see that and succumb to the populist move to discredit Mr Tan as many powerful agents with links to the leadership lobby for his removal. It is the ordinary policyholders who are now poorer for it.

December 30, 2008 12:15 AM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Knowledge and skill ntuc agents are lacking. They could sell because of the brand name built up by Mr. TanKL over the last 30 years. Cooperative was Mr. TKL and consumers trust the name not because of the skill of the agents.Today, although ntuc is no longer a cooperative poeple still trust. Many people still don't know that the products are no more value for money. NTUC revosave is very expensive and return is so low and agents misrepresented them.
Now the new management is trying to call ntuc social enterprise.It is a big bullshit. It is no surprise that this new team is rewarding themselves with policyholders' money and refund them poor return.

December 30, 2008 9:15 AM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I did not know that NTUC Income is now no longer a co-operative. I thought it is still a co-operative but have a commercial CEO to do the dirty work.

December 30, 2008 4:40 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This foreigner is a big time product pushers. The new products rolled out by him are meant for pushing. Just name which product by him is useful as a financial vehicle to address financial needs. Revosave is rubbish. Which area of needs can revosave address? Maybe at the best diluted. It is a little of this and that..intended to deceive. Ask him and his senior managers and the so called financial consultants , salesmen in disguise, whether they buy revosave. I bet none maybe some idiotic consultants, the blur ones.
MAS must audit this company, everyone and the agents for mis-selling and misrepresentation.
I wonder how many victims who have their finances screwed up by them.

Ah Hai
09-01-2009, 10:52 PM
Anonymous said...

Today the products are more expensive because the cost of operation has gone enormously.Every wants high pay.Who is paying for them?It is obvious the consumers.
The worst hit products are the whole life and the endwoment. They shouldn't be sold for a number of reasons, poor protection and return .
But they are the most popular with agents and the companies because they are lucrative. The suckers are the consumers who are saddled with long locked in, poor return, low protection and many other penalties.
Consumers should realise that these products are to be avoided and don't let insurance agents fool and cheat you into buying.
Those who bought them and have no idea how they work for you , should bring this up for review when Mr. Tan set up the association, FISCA. You will be shocked that you have been walking around with a time bomb because of your greedy agents who didn't put your interest first.

January 01, 2009 3:16 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

NTUC is only cooperative in name.The agents are non cooperative. They only want to sell you products with the highest commission and not products that meet your financial needs.They are no longer caring and honest. The misrepresneted the products to make you buy, eg like revosave although they know the product doesn't help you and add value to your financial future.
The products are rip off without money for value and they are shoved down the throat of the man in the street because they are too trusting.
The management is high and mighty and has no touch with the ground. They dine and wine in high and posh places with policyholders' fund. They are good at wayang. The truth is they are hiding the truth.

January 01, 2009 5:53 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Tan, quickly set up the FISCA and help to review these people's policies to check if they were taken a ride by their insurance agents.
It seems more people are distrusting the agents. The insurance agents are getting bad reputation as being dishonest and unethical. But be careful, many have changed their titles to consultants. Example, the ntuc salesmen have changed to financial consultants. Some even have senior and executive to the titles. Anyway ,we know ntuc insurance agents are all product pushers. They can change to fanciful titles but they still can't consult or advise, so no point having titles like these.They can bluff other people but they can't bluff us.They can't hold a financial calculator how can they be called a financial consultant..This is misleading and misrepresenting. It is cheating and cheating is serious. MAS must know about this. I wonder ntuc informed MAS about the titles.

January 02, 2009 12:28 AM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aiyah, so many good men and women has been warning the new policyholders not to buy these policies, but how many listen? For us old policyholders if no more people buy then our payout for our policies will be badly affected. Already they are losing so much money recently and coupled with their high dine and wine approach the returns are going to be worse from now onwards. Let these new policyholders buy lah, after all they are not our money. If more people buy then at least our existing policies will not be affected in payout that badly. Who knows, maybe if many many new policyholders buy then our returns will become better.
So please buy more so the new foreign management can wine and dine more and be happy then give us back more. Huat Arh!!!

January 02, 2009 3:31 AM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As you have said more money to them means more money to spend. Do you know it it sending a few hundred greedy agents to Goldcoast . The last time they spent 1 million to Ho Chi Ming. What do you think of the amount this time?
Anyway not their money but your and mine. After spending they can blame it on investment loss...Maybe another round of bonus cut..cut cut until no need to cut even during the worst time.
Some one was saying that NTUC no need to cut bonus next year when others might cut. BUt he forgot that ntuc cut 45% already much earlier than the rest.
But foreign managemnt is clever They make every body happy, the agents and the staff and whatever they do no one can notice, lah.

January 02, 2009 12:26 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So please new policyholders quickly buy more so our existing policies value will not go down to zero.

January 02, 2009 4:09 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What buy more? Stop buying and starve them to surrender so we can have quick change of management. If possible terminate your policies. We must keep trying

January 03, 2009 10:44 AM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

looks like your money flying to Gold Coast in stacks. Your next year annual bonus is their year end bonus. Where got enough from new policies. It must be from life fund. Life fund so big a few million to go for holidays and wining and dinning wouldn't be noticed.Worse to the worse cut your bonus, hor.

January 03, 2009 2:16 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I will hold the ntuc ministers, Lim Boon Heng and Lim swee say responsible for ntuc income performance as they are responsible for ntuc organisations. They should know by now that the new ceo is a good for nothing foreigner and yet they still allow him to go his way. If ntuc income still continue this high spending way at the expense of its policyholders then come next election I will campaign for them not to be voted into govt.

January 03, 2009 10:56 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No . he earned through bending and exhibiting the karma yoga style.
he is a great actor; he is trying to follow somebody's style by shedding or pretend to shed tears to move the audience. People saw through his ploy
and he was jeered for using this low down insincere trick

January 04, 2009 7:05 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Tan , hope you revive the bonus issue with ntuc. You mustn't let get away with it. Ask for this year's bonus. Ask how much they have lost in the special bonus they cut from our annual bonus..
I have a friend who told me that the return from vivolife is only 2%+ after 35 YEARS.During your time it could give at least 4%.
Something is wrong..The cost is too high and it is eating into the protection and the return.

January 05, 2009 1:40 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

With lot of splurging on posh hotel meetings, dine and wine and exotic trips overseas cost is definitely spiking. If raising money from new business to fund the these activities
policyholders are certainly taken for a ride. Or if raising money to pay annual bonus isn't it similar to PONZI scheme. Madoff should be consulted as he has so many years' of experience. He is the GURU of the PONZI scheme. Insurance companies can consult him if there is a further need to cut annual bonus or to restructure bonus.

January 05, 2009 8:08 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1.25% for revosave after 25 years.
2% for vivolife after 35 years.
Don't you consumers know about this.
It is GUARANTEED LOSS... Were you told when you bought them? Are you aware that there more ways to address whatever concerns you have in mind? Now know waht you want is important . Is insurance you want?
How long do you want to insure? 99 years?
Is saving you want? How much return you want?
There is no such thing as one product to take care all of your needs. It is rubbish. You can see these products. Protection is diluted. Return is diluted.
Don't be conned. Don't be a sucker.
You neither get enough protection nor you get decent cash value.
Get your agents to DISCLOSE ALL THE FACTS.

January 05, 2009 9:45 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

towards the end of the year mis-selling was rampant with ntuc agents . It was free rein for the last dash to qualify...for????

January 06, 2009 12:34 AM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

High time to revamp existing commission structure, which encourages agents to "mis"-sell products which earn them more commission; instead of considering buyers' need and recommending a suitable product.
My agent was very persistent to sell me a high premium product, kept emphasizing high Cash Values. Even though I found out from other sources that there is a cheaper "Limited Pay" product which match my needs, my agent side-stepped and delayed offering more info on "Limited Pay".
I decided to talk to other agents instead. Luckily I asked around before buying.

January 09, 2009 10:24 PM

Ah Hai
10-01-2009, 04:28 AM
Saturday, January 10, 2009
Life in Singapore (3)

Here is the average rating based on 25 and 100 responses.
Rating 1=very unhappy, 3=neutral, 5 = very happy

25 resp 100 resp
Safety 4.12 4.07
Law and order 4.08 3.95
Multi-racial culture 3.52 3.47
Neighbours 3.36 3.34
Work colleagues 3.32 3.32
Environment 3.32 3.28
Quality of life 3.30 3.04
Time with family 3.08 2.98
Climate 3.24 2.88
Singaporeans 2.64 2.83
Adequate wages 2.92 2.77
Education system 2.80 2.69
Time to enjoy 2.68 2.61
Transport system 2.84 2.51
Foreign workers 2.64 2.39
Government leaders 2.64 2.34
National Service 2.38 2.32
Taxes, GST, charges 2.24 1.96
Cost of living 1.96 1.87
Overall score 3.00 2.87

The ratings for most of the items were lower based on a larger group of respondents. The inital batch had a higher proportion of the older and higher income respondents, which gives a relatively higher rating.



Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 10:20 AM

Ah Hai
10-01-2009, 11:51 PM
Saturday, January 10, 2009
SCMP:Deadline issued for investmen
http://www.pressdisplay.com/pressdisplay/showlink.aspx?bookmarkid=I3SLL39DTVA5&linkid=4f97714b-ad98-4e5a-8667-07964f5d0135&pdaffid=8HM4kDzWViwfc7AqkYlqIQ%3d%3d

10 Jan 2009
Enoch Yiu and Maria Chan

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority told banks yesterday to implement seven consumer protection measures concerning the sale of investment products, and to formulate plans to separate their deposit-taking and retail securities business before the end of March.

The measures are part of a range of proposals suggested in separate reports disclosed on Thursday by the authority and the Securities and Futures Commission on last year’s Lehman Brothers minibond fiasco. On the same day, Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah ordered “an immediate review” of Hong Kong’s financial regulatory structure.

The authority sent a circular to all banks yesterday requiring them to immediately add “health-warning” statements to their sales material on retail derivative products to warn of their risks. It told them to immediately introduce adequate controls to ensure sales staff were not solely rewarded for sales performance.

By the end of March, banks must instal audio systems to record client conversations on investment products sales, as well as introduce a “mystery shopper” programme – in which undercover staff monitor the behaviour of those selling investment products.

In addition, the authority told banks to formulate plans to separate their deposit-taking and investment products sales functions. Both reports said it was a conflict for bank tellers to handle deposits and sales. But the regulators have different ideas on how to solve the problem.

The authority report said banks should use separate counters and staff in a branch to sell investment products. But the SFC suggested banks be banned from using their branch networks at all for these financial instruments. Rather, they should set up a separate subsidiary, using different offices and staff.

The proposed reforms come in the wake of the collapse of the US bank Lehman Brothers in September, a crisis that left 43,700 Hong Kong investors holding derivatives it issued or guaranteed, but which had lost much or all of their value.

Many claimed they were misled by bank tellers, who sold the products as alternatives to time deposits or low-risk bonds when, in fact, they were risky credit-linked derivatives.

Raymond So Wai-man, an associate professor of finance at Chinese University, supported the idea that banks should separate deposit-taking and investment products sales.

“When bank tellers make use of depositors’ financial information and cross-sell them investment products, customers may be confused between investment and deposit taking,” he said. Peter Wong Tung-shun, chairman of the Hong Kong Association of Banks

But Peter Wong Tung-shun, chairman of the Hong Kong Association of Banks, said some banks were very small and it might not be easy to have separate counters.

Mr Wong said banks might face higher operating costs after adopting the suggested proposals. “It’s hard to say whether banks have to pass on the cost to consumers,” he said.

The authority and the SFC reports both noted that Britain, Singapore and Australia had “cooling off” periods of 14 to 30 days on some investment products in which customers can change their minds.

In Hong Kong, there is no such cooling off period. However, the Hong Kong Federation of Insurers does have a cancellation period in which customers can cancel their policies up to 21days after applying.

Chan Kin-por, lawmaker for the insurance sector, said this had helped to reduce complaints. He said 10 to 15 per cent of policies sold were cancelled in the cooling off period.
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 7:07 PM 0 comments

Ah Hai
12-01-2009, 04:21 AM
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Yield during the Great Depression of the 1930s
Dr. Money wrote in The New Paper:

For example, if you bought US shares in 1929, it would have taken 28 years – until 1957 – before you got back all your investment. Other markets have taken even longer.

It is true that stocks earn 10 per cent against 3 per cent for bonds – in the long-run. But that can be very long.

Here is my perspective.

If you buy shares now, when it has dropped 50% and it takes 28 years to reach its previous peak (i.e. 100% gain from the current price), the effective yield is 2.5% per annum. If it takes a shorter time to reach the previous peak, the yield will be higher than 2.5% per annum.
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 11:53 AM

Ah Hai
12-01-2009, 04:22 AM
Sunday, January 11, 2009
SCMP:Two women sue bank over minibond losses
http://www.pressdisplay.com/pressdisplay/showlink.aspx?bookmarkid=F1QJNO2RI9J2&linkid=d00bf96d-c7e9-49c5-935e-470eb087254e&pdaffid=8HM4kDzWViwfc7AqkYlqIQ%3d%3d

11 Jan 2009
Yvonne Tsui

A 69-year-old woman and her daughter-in-law are seeking a full refund and damages from the Bank of China (Hong Kong) over their losses in Lehman Brothers minibonds.

Chin Yee-ching, a retired woman living in Malaysia, and her daughterin-law Chan Lai-mei, who lives in Po Shan Road, filed a writ in the High Court against Bank of China (Hong Kong) on Friday.

The bank is accused of being negligent in failing to “ correctly and accurately disclose and explain the real nature and structure of the product” and the true risk involved in their minibond investments.

Minibonds are not corporate bonds, but consist of high-risk creditlinked derivatives. They are marketed as a proxy investment in well-known companies.

In the writ, the pair also allege the bank failed to provide sufficient information and time for them to consider and make investment decisions about the products.

It said that Ms Chin and Ms Chan were approached by Cheng Kit-yee, a bank officer at a branch in Connaught Road Central, and Ms Cheng persuaded them to buy a series 35 minibond.

The claim said Ms Cheng told Ms Chan that the minibond was very low risk and the interest yield was good. Ms Cheng allegedly told her that the product was just like a time deposit and was very safe, while the interest was a little bit higher.

Ms Chan then agreed to early uplift of her US dollar fixed time deposit of US$ 80,000 so she could buy the minibonds, and Ms Cheng helped her apply for a waiver of the early uplift penalty. The writ said Ms Chan further agreed to use HK$ 400,000 savings to purchase the minibonds.

Having allegedly suggested the product was low risk and a conservative investment, Ms Cheng advised Ms Chin to invest her HK$1.48 million savings in minibonds.

However, another bank officer, Kenneth Lam, informed the pair in late September that the collapse of the American bank on September 15 affected their minibond investments.
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 12:31 PM
1 comments:

Anonymous said...

How come all the actions happened in HK?

Why here so quiet? Why hah?
January 11, 2009 3:56 PM

Ah Hai
12-01-2009, 04:23 AM
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Hilarious sayings of George W Bush
And they have no disregard for human life."—Describing the brutality of Afghan fighters, Washington, D.C., July 15, 2008

I remember meeting a mother of a child who was abducted by the North Koreans right here in the Oval Office."—Washington, D.C., June 26, 2008

"We want people owning their home—we want people owning a businesses."—Washington, D.C., April 18, 2008

"How can you possibly have an international agreement that's effective unless countries like China and India are not full participants?"—Camp David, April 19, 2008

More here
http://www.tankinlian.com/articles/wisdom.html
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 8:34 PM

Ah Hai
12-01-2009, 04:24 AM
Sunday, January 11, 2009
TABS - Taxi Automated Booking Service (8202 8866)
You can test TABS now by sending a zone code (from 01 to 82) to TABS 82028866. If a taxi is available, you will get a SMS stating that a taxi will call you on your mobile phone. Actually, you will get a dummy taxi (during this testing period). You will get the SMS, but there is no actual taxi at this time.

If no taxi is available, you will be placed on the queue for the next "dummy" taxi to be available. You should get a SMS within 5 minutes.

Give it a try. The zone should be the first two digit of the postal code of your home, office or wherever you happen to be.

Send ZZ (01 to 82) to 82028866. Test the system now. It is FREE.
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 10:15 PM

Ah Hai
12-01-2009, 04:25 AM
Monday, January 12, 2009
Looking for a job in 2009 - 27 replies
Summary of 27 replies

1. Are you likely to look for a job in 2009?

Yes - first time job seeker 11.1%
Yes - now unemployed 37.0%
Maybe - may be retrenched soon 25.9%
No - I am in a secure job 25.9%

2. If you cannot find a full time salaried job, which options would you prefer?

Set up own business 33.3%
Work as a contractor 25.9%
Work as a commissioned sales person 18.5%
Work as a part time worker on hourly rate) 63.0%

3. What is the hourly rate that you expect (with CPF, no fringe benefits)?
$6 to $10 per hour: 72%
Above $10 per hour: 28$

4. Which workplace do you prefer?

In the city area 3.8%
In a nearby town center 11.5%
Near my home 42.3%
Anywhere 42.3%

5. Which do you prefer?

Full time job - 8 hours a day with overtime 30.8%
Full time job - 8 hours a day, no overtime 15.4%
Flexible job - 4 to 8 hours a day 23.1%
Flexible job - 0 to 4 hours a day 0.0%
Any of the above 30.8%

6. What type of work do you prefer?

Office based 84.6%
Service based 34.6%
Factory based 11.5%
Field work 34.6%
Others 19.2%
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 5:35 AM

Ah Hai
12-01-2009, 04:27 AM
Monday, January 12, 2009
Part Time Work
There is strong interest in looking for part time work $6 to $10 an hour, preferably near the home. I will approach someone to create a portal to allow the matching of part time workers and employers.

I hope that this will create a new type of employment. The employer can engage a part time worker initially, and offer full time work if the worker is found to be suitable.
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 9:08 AM

Ah Hai
13-01-2009, 01:36 AM
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Insurance that worsen crunch
Read this article. It explains the challenges faced by the economy during the global credit crisis.

Insurance that worsen crunch

The solution? Credit insurance should be operated by the government as a non-profit business.
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 9:48 AM

Ah Hai
13-01-2009, 01:37 AM
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Beware of bubbles
A bubble occurs when market prices are inflated beyond their real values. This has happened with the property market, stock market and more recently, with the commodity market, oil market, China stockmarket and India stockmarket.

All bubbles will lead to a collapse. All the markets mentioned above have collapsed.

Many people may not realise that there is another safe market that is in a bubble. It is the Government bond market. Due to risk aversion, many people put their money in long term Government bonds. The excess demand has pushed up the price and reduce the yield.

If the long term yield for safe Government bonds should be 4% (to cover inflation and cost of money) and excess demand causes the yield to drop to 2%, the price has gone up by about 25% in the case of a 15 year bond. If the yield returns back to the real value of 4%, the price will drop by 20% to get back to the normal level. It is possible to have a bubble in safe investments as well.

If you are caught with long term bonds yielding 2% (and the market price has dropped by 20%, you still have the option of keeping your money at the low yield of 2% for the 15 years).

Lesson: Avoid bubbles. Avoid paying a high price for your investment. Take a long term view.
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 9:52 AM

Ah Hai
13-01-2009, 01:28 PM
4 Comments

Blogger Jan said...

Hi Mr Tan,
Thank you for yr timely reminder!
My SGS bond, bought 2 yrs ago, will mature on 15 Jan 09, guess i will not put my money into them just yet...
I don't actually know how it works but I do know that interest and yield go separate ways, and the principal is 100% guaranteed.

January 13, 2009 10:33 AM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sell or take profit in a bubble. Do not buy.

Buy when it has deflated.

However, such opportunities don't come often so you must read and seize the timing when it comes.

January 13, 2009 1:20 PM
Anonymous game1980 said...

Price is what you pay and value is what you get.

Always compare bond yield and earning yield and knows the risk premium in buying shares.

January 13, 2009 1:43 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bubble or no bubble, long-term bonds are bad investments. If you compare the price history of LT bonds and stocks, they're just as volatile. But, LT bonds have low inflation-adjusted real returns whereas stocks real returns are much higher.

It's better to invest short-term funds in short-term government bonds and long-term funds in equities. The short-term funds will provide for liquidity needs and the long-term funds will aim for higher returns with the ability to sit through volatility in the interim.

January 13, 2009 5:27 PM

Ah Hai
13-01-2009, 01:29 PM
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Invest in assets at deflated prices
In normal times, investment in shares give a dividend yield of around 3%. In a crisis, when the share price dropped by 50%, the dividend yield increase to 6%. It is likely that the company will suffer lower profits, so the dividend will be reduced. After reduction, the yield is likely to be still quite attractive.

If business conditions are bad, the company has the choice to reduce their cost by downsizing their operations. When their profit stabilizes, their share price will also stop dropping. When the profit increases with the return of economic growth, the share price will show a good gain.

It may take a few years or longer, but it will eventually happen. In the meantime, the dividend yield will continue to be quite attractive. To avoid the risk of selecting the wrong shares (i.e. of a company that may go bust), it is important th diversify the investment into a fund (e.g. an exchange traded fund).

My view: Invest when the share price is deflated, due to the pessimistic situation. Invest for the long term.
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 2:04 PM
3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sage.
January 13, 2009 5:18 PM
Anonymous said...

STI-ETF
January 13, 2009 6:12 PM
Anonymous said...

I am waiting for the ST index to drop to 1200 before investing
January 13, 2009 7:59 PM

Ah Hai
15-01-2009, 01:00 AM
10 Comments

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sage.

January 13, 2009 5:18 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

STI-ETF

January 13, 2009 6:12 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am waiting for the ST index to drop to 1200 before investing

January 13, 2009 7:59 PM
Anonymous Wilson said...

STI ETF is thinly traded and at time of need you may not be able to sell.

January 13, 2009 10:04 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One minus point to watch:
with bank credit/loans harder to secure, many companies will conserve cash by reducing dividend or withold dividend during lean years.

January 13, 2009 10:09 PM
Blogger Falcon said...

In my opinion, Gold is the best asset to buy at this time. I am referring to physical Gold and not paper Gold. The reason is because physical Gold is limited in quantity and traditionally Gold is the asset to buy in times of turbulence. This recession even more so because of the great uncertainty in all other asset classes, including bonds as reasoned by Mr Tan. Equities are not out of the woods yet and properties are just beginning to slide.
On a macro view, even external economies, including the US and China, the rich investors there would also be piling into physical Gold. Paper Gold is easily manipulated but physical Gold, once it is in your hands, there are no recurring fees, administrative fees and other sorts of fees that the financial institutions can pile on you. Once physical Gold is yours, it is yours till you choose to sell it.
In times of inflation, physical Gold holds its own very well too.
The only downside is that you are not paid any interest on it, except in Vietnam, and you have got to have a safe place to store it.
But hey, who needs the few percent of interest when the risk is so high that you can lose your principal.

January 13, 2009 11:45 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

DBS Bank, City Dev and Capitaland are good choices at deflated prices at the moment.

January 14, 2009 12:01 AM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The best form of investment in this difficult times is on higher education !

January 14, 2009 7:00 AM
Anonymous A Tan said...

Not if you are 70 going on 80.

It is vv gd advice for those in 20s-40s.

And don't forget, if you need the money in an emergency, you may have to sell at a loss even after taking into acct the dividens received.

So use only money you think you are not likely to call upon in the medium term.

January 14, 2009 7:18 AM
Blogger Hunter-Gatherer said...

Unless the dividend is reduced as well and remains at 3%. There are a lot of people catching falling knives at the moment and we are probably looking at a flight to commodities or manufacturing and away from services.

January 15, 2009 12:54 AM

Ah Hai
15-01-2009, 01:02 AM
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Central database of medical records
Should we have a central database of medical records? Will it lead to more efficient treatment and low medical cost? Give your views in this survey.

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=QALcpiAF2TsyYKQ_2bt0yjKg_3d_3d
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 7:13 AM
1 comments:

Parka said...

I think I've read something similar that's being tested in US. It's a central databased uploaded onto a central server online. Different hospitals (and insurance companies when permitted) can then access information.

The problem is kick starting the project. There's no motivation for hospitals, specifically the people working in the hospitals, to go ahead with this. (Tell me how they are paid and I will tell you how they will behave.) The initiative will have to be from the government.
January 14, 2009 6:50 PM

Ah Hai
15-01-2009, 01:04 AM
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
A new way to do business - by conference call
I have to discuss a business proposal with a Telco. Their marketing managers were busy and could not find a convenient time for a meeting. We decided to have a conference call. It went smoothly. There was no need for a face to face meeting. This is a new way to do business. It is more efficient.
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 1:08 PM
5 comments:

Concerned said...

A lot of people realised this, but they do not like to practice it. This is especially true for a lot of people with overseas meeting, as the participants got to travel under company account.
January 14, 2009 3:21 PM
Anonymous said...

We have been doing this for more than ten years with people joining the meeting from all corners of the world. If you do this often with multiple parties, you should appoint a process monitor, establish a procedure for roll call, set priority for speakers, follow certain round-table discussion rules, keep your phone on mute when not speaking etc. You can also have synchronized presentations via Netmeeting or other more secured software products. But for important meeting, face to face would be preferred. Failing which video conference would be a good substitute.
January 14, 2009 4:16 PM
Bernard Lim said...

Cisco's Telepresence comes to mind.
January 14, 2009 5:31 PM
Parka said...

I've heard of Cisco's Telepresence before and saw a demo on the web. Truly it's amazing and an ultimate tme saver if used appropriately.
January 14, 2009 6:55 PM
Hunter-Gatherer said...

There are a number of products such MS Live Communication Server that can link your organisation as well as trusted partners. If you have established relationships then they can save time in sharing information.
January 15, 2009 12:49 AM

Ah Hai
15-01-2009, 01:06 AM
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
How to identity a bubble
Someone asked, "How to identify a bubble?"

The answer: "Nobody knows". Alan Greenspan, the former chairman of the US Federal Reserve Board said that one knows a bubble after it has burst. This is not helpful. It turned out to be disastrous, as the bursting of the US housing bubble has led to the global financial crisis.

Is there a rule of thumb to identify a bubble? Nobody has dared to stick out his thumb. But I shall try.

You get a bubble when the current price is 50% or 100% higher than the average price for the past 5 years. Maybe, we should look at the actual statistics and see if 50% or 100% is a better indicator.

For example, the average oil price during the past 5 years prior to 2008 must be around US$40. When it exceeded US$80, it was a bubble. After it burst, it returned to US$40.

When the high end property prices in Singapore doubled in value in 2008 compared to the past years, it was a bubble. It burst soon after.
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 1:11 PM
6 comments:

TYP said...

Dear Mr. Tan

I am afraid I will have to correct you on what is a bubble.

In Supply and Demand, a bubble is created when there is over supply and under demand.

In oil, there is a situation of under supply and over demand. Under supply being the depleting oil fields and inventories around the world currently. Over demand due to 2 developing economies with 2 billion population combined and that are playing a catching up chase toward middle class level as in the west.
January 14, 2009 3:04 PM
Tan Kin Lian said...

Dear TYP

It should be the other way round. A bubble occurs then there is over demand and inadequate supply.

The over demand is usually used by speculation and not real demand. This lead to a bubble.

When too many people wanted to buy properties, because they think that the price will continue to go up, their demand causes the bubble.
January 14, 2009 3:55 PM
Concerned said...

Bubbles occur when there is excessive speculation. People usually has a feel that there is a bubble, when they are in the midst of a bubble, but refuse to recognise it and get out because the winning feeling is so good. Bubbles are caused by excessive greed and investors become too confident and ignore the fundamentals. When the Shanghai Index was over 6,000 many investors knew there was a bubble, but they believe in the 'greater fool theory' and refuse to pull out, hoping to catch the last gush of winnings. It is easier to see a bubble from the outside than from the inside, i.e. when you have some investment you tends to hope that your investment will continue to flourish and brings you greater winnings, but when you have no investment on the table, you will have a neutral view of the market and can identify the bubbles more easily.
January 14, 2009 5:24 PM
Anonymous said...

Is the bubble-deflate V,U,L or inverted V,U, L?

For instance some report in TODAY (14.1.09) mentioned Singapore is going for a very severe recession this year but recovery will also be very fast. That means a V.

Like that quite OK what, even for bubbles. Just suffer a short, sharp pain and after that very fast comfortable again.
January 14, 2009 9:53 PM
Wilson said...

I agree with Concerned. A bubble is always associated with big speculation. If there is only demand that push up the price of a certain commodity, without a lot of speculation, the price will remain firm. But producers may also speculate that the demand continues and hence produce more than required. This may also create a bubble.
January 14, 2009 10:35 PM
Jeremy said...

HBD prices are definitely in a bubble then!

Ah Hai
15-01-2009, 01:09 AM
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Value and character

I teach a course in Singapore Management University.

Apart from the syllabus of the course, I like the students to learn some values and tips that will be useful for them to cope with the challenges of life.

I will share some of the values that guide my character. I hope that these values will be useful as a guide to the students.

http://www.tankinlian.com/articles/values.html

Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 4:32 PM
3 comments:

Parka said...

I've read through the pdf article. Indeed it's a useful guide. But for it to be adopted by anyone, the person must keep those principles in mind everyday.

Those are timeless principles.

I recommend everyone to read also The Law of Success by Napoleon Hill. It's the book that almost all self-help books refer to, or base their principles on. In fact, it should be made compulsory readings in secondary schools.
January 14, 2009 6:53 PM
Anonymous said...

Mr Tan,

Nothing mentioned in the link. Where are the values and tips listed?
January 14, 2009 9:44 PM
Parka said...

Guys, it's actually a pdf document.
January 14, 2009 11:52 PM

Ah Hai
15-01-2009, 01:10 AM
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Contact Persons (Distributor, Product)

Distributor

M John


[email protected]


Maybank

K P Yeow


[email protected]


CIMB

H L Soh


[email protected]


American Express

H L Soh


[email protected]


Standard Chartered

Fang Wu Lim


limf[email protected]


DBS

Ting S K


[email protected]


OCBC

Gan C C


[email protected]


ABN Amro

Daphne Phua


[email protected]


Hong Leong Finance

Mrs Ong


[email protected]


UOB/Kay Hian



Products

M John


[email protected]


Minibond

Fang Wu Lim


[email protected]


High Notes

Gan C C


[email protected]


Pinnacle Note

Yin Ng


[email protected]


Jubilee


Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 5:28 PM
1 comments:

Anonymous said...

Mr. Tan,
We have a UOB KAYHIAN GROUP with about 30 members. But I did not see our rep name?
January 14, 2009 8:51 PM

Ah Hai
15-01-2009, 01:11 AM
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Going to extremes to find a job

http://money.cnn.com/2009/01/14/pf/unconventional_job_searches/index.htm
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 12:09 AM

Ah Hai
15-01-2009, 01:13 AM
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Helping Singaporeans to cope with recession (2)

http://theonlinecitizen.com/2008/12/helping-singaporeans-cope-with-the-recessio/

Summary of survey: 85 responses

1. What do you think about the relief loan for Singaporeans to cover loss of earnings caused by reduction or a shorter work week?

It is a good idea


28.6%

It is worth a try


50.0%

It is not practical


21.4%

2. Is there a big risk that the relief loan can be abused?

It is a big risk that cannot be managed


15.5%

There is a risk, but it can be managed


76.2%

The risk is small, and worth taking


8.3%

3. If a business faces reduced demand, what is the best way for the business to cope?

Retrench employees


4.8%

Cut wages


32.1%

Ask the employees to take no-pay leave


63.1%

4. Many countries have unemployment insurance. Is it time for Singapore to introduce such as scheme?

Most countries find it difficult to prevent abuses


18.1%

The abuses are small and can be managed


39.8%

It is better to start offering a relief loan along the lines proposed


42.2%

5. Should Goods & Services Tax (GST) be reduced temporarily to cope with the recession?

Yes - to encourage consumer spending


79.3%

No - people should reduced spending in hard times


9.8%

No - there are better ways to encourage spending


11.0%

6. How much should GST be reduced to encourage spending?

Reduce by 7% points


10.8%

Reduce by 4% points


51.8%

Reduce by 2% points


20.5%

Do not reduce GST


16.9%

7. How should the Government cope with a reduction in GST revenues?

Increase personal income tax


4.9%

Reduce government spending


18.8%

Draw down on past reserves


46.3%

8. What is the best way to encourage consumer spending?

Give cash handouts


28.9%

Give food and other coupons


14.5%

Reduce GST and charges


56.6%


Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 4:58 AM

Ah Hai
15-01-2009, 03:35 PM
Thursday, January 15, 2009
"Pinnacle Action Group" formed to work on a possible Class Action

(1) A working committee of 6 investors (informally called "Pinnacle Action Group") have come together to work on a possible class action for Series 1,2,3,5,6,7,9 & 10 of the Pinnacle Notes. Series 9 & 10 have been declared worthless and the other Series were notified in December 2008 that they are close to but not yet declared worthless. The fate of these other series now hang in the balance. The group feels that we cannot allow this tragic event to go unchallenged

(2) We have briefed several Senior Counsel (SC)and the proposed class action will,unlike the case of Minibonds, be against the arranger of the Notes, viz Morgan Stanley Singapore. An official website to facilitate the organizing of the proposed class action will be launched as soon as one of the SC briefed has been appointed to take on the case.

(3)The proposed class action will target 1000 or more affected investors in the various series to join in .The legal fee structure proposed will be simple and affordable - perhaps as low as only about $1000/- per head - on an all-inclusive basis right up to appeal stage , win or lose. To do this , we need 1000 or more to join in. The process will also be kept simple and the issues raised will be easy to understand for all who wish to join in the proposed class action and try and recoup their losses.

To be kept informed, before the launch the official "Pinnacle Class Action" website, Pinnacle investors are urged to contact us at the email address given below. Please provide us with your:

(a) name; (b) Series bought; (c) email address, and (d) contact tel

Thank you.

Sincerely,
"Pinnacle Action Group"

(J C Chan, S Tan, C S Lim, P Loh, B T Tee and C Y Boey)

Email: [email protected]
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 6:53 PM
4 comments:

Anonymous said...

TO: PAG [Pinnacle Action Group]
Great and thanks.

TO: BEING CHEATED INVESTORS
This is the direction forward bec MAS actually tells us to fend for ourselves.

I urge all Pinnacles notes holders, whatever series you are holding, TO JOIN THE CLASS ACTION bec they will die in a matter of time. Your only hope is:

[a] file complaint under the MAS 3-step guideline, which is only FORMALITY

[b] be part of the class action, which is the REAL ACTION.

[c] More people the cost will be LOWER eg. $1,000 x 1,000 pax is $1 million war chest; $500 x 3,000 pax is $1.5 million ware chest.

[d] Even we lose (I doubt so) the can of WORMS will be pouring upon the regulators and distributors etc.
January 15, 2009 7:34 PM
Anonymous said...

I urge investors to wait for Mr. Tan QC opinion before rushing in. The opinion will be ready by end of Jan 2009 and there is no urgency to act before that.
January 15, 2009 8:13 PM
Wilson said...

One of my concerns is: If the investors lose in the legal battle with the FIs, will the FIs counter-sue the investors, or will the investors have to bear the legal costs of the FIs (which I believe the FIs would demand so)? If this happen, will the investors' costs be limited to S$1000 or even many times higher?
Can anyone enlighten us on the above issues before we plunge into this class action? As I believe most of us would want to limit our liabilities in the worst case scenario.
January 15, 2009 10:32 PM
Ed said...

We're waiting for the "mid-January" answer/findings from MAS & FIs as well, before deciding on any legal action.
January 15, 2009 10:51 PM

Ah Hai
15-01-2009, 03:36 PM
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Investor wants to sue the relationship manager
Dear Mr. Tan

Seek your views on the following:
Q1 Can sue the RM personally for mis-selling and mis-representation, if I am not happy with FI investigation.

Q2 If I sue the RM, do you think the FI will defend her or the RM has to defend herself.

Q3 Do you think Leonard Loo is a possible choice, or get another lawyer?

Actually, money loss can be earned back. It saddened me that many uncles and aunties may not even know they are intoxicated OR those who are intoxicated may not know how to fight on ground of mis-selling and mis-rep which is a legal concept.

I think MAS is making it worst for investors. Imagine, we are cheated, now we have to prove that we are “idiot” ie “vulnerable or mis-selling or mis-rep” to get back our money?
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 7:38 PM
1 comments:

Anonymous said...

Suing the RMs is the best bet you have about miss-selling. Is is to force a confession and get them to spill the beans. Otherwise the FIs are sticking to their guns with the blessing of the regulator.
You will be doing a great service to the whole industry. The industry will be embarrassed that they have been fleecing the consumers all these years. This includes the life insurance and the agents.

Ah Hai
15-01-2009, 03:37 PM
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Learn about insurance

You can find some common concepts explained in a simple way in:
http://www.tankinlian.com/course/


Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 8:27 PM
1 comments:

zhummmeng said...

Selling your whole life policy to get better cash value than the insurer at 65 instead of converting to annuity makes more sense .There is a growing market and it will prove the bane for the insurers
I know NTUC offers another another 5% for conversion to annuity of their vivolife. Is NTUC being generous? You should know the truth.
First, ntuc gets another business.
Second, and this is the very reason why ntuc WANTS TO APPEAR generous. By converting to annuity NTUC stands to save as much as 60% of the death or claim proceed. So, is ntuc generous? It is actually discouraging policyholders from holding for whole life until claim.If all policyholders hold for whole life the insurance companies will go BANKRUPPT.
So this talk and argument by your insurance agents that you need a whole life plan is big scam. It is not sincere. The company doesn't want you to do that.It will put a lot of incentives in your way to stop you from holding it for whole life.
The bad news is ,if the secondary market for life settlement takes off successfully all the life insurance companies will tremble for their days are numbered. This will expose their scam that they are hiding all these years about whole life and endowment products.
They are clever to use greedy insurance agents to promote the scams. These agents, whatever titles they are disguised, they too will meet their doom and the dooms day is near.
Consumers, wake up to this fact. The insurers NEVER had or have your interest at heart. Your money, to pay the greedy agents and upkeep the lifestyle of the ceos and their senior management is the reason for them to roll out dubious products from time to time.
Let me ask you. Are the new products getting better and better in term of more protection and more return or cash value? on the contrary, they are getting more fancifool to fool you and to distract you about the REAL reason for insurance. They are trying to bullshit you that there is such thing as life style insurance products.Spend as you save and live life to the fullest craps is a play of semantics which are confusing and ambiguous to numb your sense of rationality. With the agents pushing and pressuring you , you end up with a load of useless craps and yet you don't even know.
Consumers, support the formation of the FISCA and put an end to the dishonesty of the insurance agents.
January 15, 2009 9:22 PM

Ah Hai
15-01-2009, 03:38 PM
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Central database of medical records
Should we have a central database of medical records? Will it lead to more efficient treatment and low medical cost? Give your views in this survey.

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=QALcpiAF2TsyYKQ_2bt0yjKg_3d_3d
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 11:00 PM 2 comments Links to this post
Central database of medical records

Summary of 24 replies

1. How old are you?

Less than 30


12.5%

31 to 50


50.0%

Over 50


37.5%

2. Gender

Male


79.2%

Female


20.8%

3. How many times do you see the doctor in a year?

0 to 3 times


58.3%

4 to 7 times


25.0%

More than 7 times


16.7%

4. Do you see the same doctor?

See 1 doctor most of the time


29.2%

See 2 doctors most of the time


37.5%

See more than 2 doctors


33.3%

5. If it useful to have your medical records available to all the doctors that you see?

Yes


95.8%

No


4.2%

6. What type of medical information should be made available to all the doctors that you consult?

Allergy


100.0%

Chronic conditions


95.8%

Medical checkup record


91.7%

Prescribed medicine


87.5%

Family history


83.3%

7. Which of the following approaches is to be used to protect confidentiality of information?

Patient to enter the PIN to access the information (note: this may be troublesome)


31.6%

All access to the patient's information is logged and the patient has the right to check on the identity of the person who access the record


63.2%

The information in the medical record are not confidential


5.3%

9. Do you agree with the following statements?

1=disagree, 3=neutral, 5=agree

The medical records help the doctors to treat me better


4.39

It will result in a more efficient system


4.30

The medical records should be made available to all doctors that treat me


4.13

There is no need for the same medical tests to be repeated


4.04

The central database allows tracking and can minimise mal-practice by doctors


3.96

This will allow the medical expenses to be reduced


3.83

I am not worried about privacy of medical information


2.61


Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 8:30 PM 0 comments Links to this post

Ah Hai
16-01-2009, 12:18 AM
Thursday, January 15, 2009
"Pinnacle Action Group" formed to work on a possible Class Action

(1) A working committee of 6 investors (informally called "Pinnacle Action Group") have come together to work on a possible class action for Series 1,2,3,5,6,7,9 & 10 of the Pinnacle Notes. Series 9 & 10 have been declared worthless and the other Series were notified in December 2008 that they are close to but not yet declared worthless. The fate of these other series now hang in the balance. The group feels that we cannot allow this tragic event to go unchallenged

(2) We have briefed several Senior Counsel (SC)and the proposed class action will,unlike the case of Minibonds, be against the arranger of the Notes, viz Morgan Stanley Singapore. An official website to facilitate the organizing of the proposed class action will be launched as soon as one of the SC briefed has been appointed to take on the case.

(3)The proposed class action will target 1000 or more affected investors in the various series to join in .The legal fee structure proposed will be simple and affordable - perhaps as low as only about $1000/- per head - on an all-inclusive basis right up to appeal stage , win or lose. To do this , we need 1000 or more to join in. The process will also be kept simple and the issues raised will be easy to understand for all who wish to join in the proposed class action and try and recoup their losses.

To be kept informed, before the launch the official "Pinnacle Class Action" website, Pinnacle investors are urged to contact us at the email address given below. Please provide us with your:

(a) name; (b) Series bought; (c) email address, and (d) contact tel

Thank you.

Sincerely,
"Pinnacle Action Group"

(J C Chan, S Tan, C S Lim, P Loh, B T Tee and C Y Boey)

Email: [email protected]
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 6:53 PM
6 comments:

Anonymous said...

TO: PAG [Pinnacle Action Group]
Great and thanks.

TO: BEING CHEATED INVESTORS
This is the direction forward bec MAS actually tells us to fend for ourselves.

I urge all Pinnacles notes holders, whatever series you are holding, TO JOIN THE CLASS ACTION bec they will die in a matter of time. Your only hope is:

[a] file complaint under the MAS 3-step guideline, which is only FORMALITY

[b] be part of the class action, which is the REAL ACTION.

[c] More people the cost will be LOWER eg. $1,000 x 1,000 pax is $1 million war chest; $500 x 3,000 pax is $1.5 million ware chest.

[d] Even we lose (I doubt so) the can of WORMS will be pouring upon the regulators and distributors etc.
January 15, 2009 7:34 PM
Anonymous said...

I urge investors to wait for Mr. Tan QC opinion before rushing in. The opinion will be ready by end of Jan 2009 and there is no urgency to act before that.
January 15, 2009 8:13 PM
Wilson said...

One of my concerns is: If the investors lose in the legal battle with the FIs, will the FIs counter-sue the investors, or will the investors have to bear the legal costs of the FIs (which I believe the FIs would demand so)? If this happen, will the investors' costs be limited to S$1000 or even many times higher?
Can anyone enlighten us on the above issues before we plunge into this class action? As I believe most of us would want to limit our liabilities in the worst case scenario.
January 15, 2009 10:32 PM
Ed said...

We're waiting for the "mid-January" answer/findings from MAS & FIs as well, before deciding on any legal action.
January 15, 2009 10:51 PM
Concerned said...

To sue the arranger, it will be on the basis that the prospectus or the pricing documents are misleading or misrepresented. Since there is a QC taking a look at the Minibond prospectus on any misrepresentation, it would better to wait for the QC opinion.
If there is any mis-selling or misrepresentation, it is between the investors and the FIs as Morgan Stanley did not sold the structured products directly.
January 16, 2009 12:31 AM
Anonymous said...

Financial crooks all think that they can get away with it just by ignoring their customers. Remember the Fitness centre that just ignored the customer? Even did not go and attend the tribunal hearing. Ignore, ignore and ignore. Until the bailiff turn up and want to seize the gym equipment. Then suddenly can contact the big boss and decision made to return cash and keep the change some more. Never see coffin will not shed tears. This is how these opportunists work. They know that most people are afraid of the extra effort and the uncertainty of winning or losing and the fear that they waste more time and money pursuing the case. No venture no gain. These financial crooks who think nothing of eating up your money and insult your intelligence should be taught a lesson. They are not afraid of anything when they plot to take your hard earned money away from you. Why are you afraid to see justice done?
January 16, 2009 1:41 AM

Ah Hai
16-01-2009, 10:51 PM
Friday, January 16, 2009
Mis-selling of structured products
Almost all elderly investors with little income, formal education or investment experience were compensated.
By Francis Chan

MORE than half of the reviewed complaints of structured products of Lehman Minibonds, DBS High Notes 5 and Merril Lynch Jubilee Series 3 Linkearner Notes have received some compensation, said the Monetary Authority of Singapore on Friday. In the latest update, MAS says 58 per cent of investors who have lodged complaints of mis-selling to the financial institutions that sold them the products have received a full or partial settlement.
About 25 per cent of those received full settlements, while 33 per cent got partial settlements.

According to the MAS, almost all elderly investors with little income, formal education or investment experience have been fully or partially compensated.

MAS deputy managing director for market conduct, Shane Tregillis said: 'MAS is satisfied that FIs have carefully reviewed the complaints based on principals of fairness without taking strict legal positions. This is reflected in the settlements offers that the FIs are making to the investors.'

http://www.straitstimes.com/Breaking+News/Singapore/Story/STIStory_326983.html
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 7:20 PM
18 comments:

Ah Hai
16-01-2009, 10:52 PM
Anonymous said...

Someone who ever come to this blog please tell me you got some compensation. I have written evidence and i got nothing and still want to limit the claim to 50k. I dont believe the banks will do any compensation with a complain. This news is a joke.
January 16, 2009 7:28 PM
ym said...

hmmm.. i wonder whats the average % compensation (instead of by numbers)


ym
January 16, 2009 7:29 PM
Anonymous said...

Very good news. Thanks to MAS for providing a fair solution.
January 16, 2009 7:39 PM
Anonymous said...

This is too good to be believed. Is MAS liaring?
January 16, 2009 8:31 PM
Anonymous said...

Wah majority of Lehman Brothers investment products must be elderly and illiterate..... that's why 58% got compensated. These are very impressive statistics, wonder if they can be verified?
January 16, 2009 8:57 PM
Anonymous said...

Most ofthe people I met received nothing.
Who are compensated. Is this true???
Big question mark???
Can' believe!!!!!!
January 16, 2009 9:23 PM
Anonymous said...

My retired father and housewife mother (above 60 years, no income) - should be under elderly with little income - but both had received letters from the FI saying no reason to accede to their complaint, and asking them to go Fidrec.
Is it because they bought through IFA from brokerage, instead of directly from bank?
A product is toxic - it doesn't matter who they buy if from!
Wonder if MAS has looked into this area and to address the victims who bought through IFA from brokerage?
January 16, 2009 9:47 PM
Anonymous said...

Buy thru independent adviser, only 1 to 2 % got compensated.
Is this ridiculus???
Must fight on.....
January 16, 2009 10:38 PM
Anonymous said...

so is it without complaint also get compensation or only those who file complaint?
January 16, 2009 10:56 PM
Anonymous said...

9:47 PM : Friend, think about it, if you are the bank, will you pay those who invest 5k or those who invest 500k? If i am the bank, to make the book look good to the public, i will pay those who invest 5k and say Almost all elderly investors with little income, formal education or investment experience were compensated. Instead of giving %, why dont they show us the number of those who invested above 50k get compensation instead of % getting compensation. How much does your paretns invest?
January 16, 2009 11:03 PM
Ed said...

Why isn't MAS investigating mis-selling of Pinnacle Notes?!
January 16, 2009 11:04 PM
Anonymous said...

By compensating 75% of Minibond holders who bought from Banks, it is saying the product is indeed toxic and too complex to be sold to general public.
It is good news that Banks stepped forward to offer fair compensation. But what about the Brokerages? They seemed to have got away, even though amongst their many investment-savvy clients, there are also many innocent victims.
January 16, 2009 11:35 PM
Anonymous said...

I have an appointment with Maybank next week regarding the outcome of my complaint. The officer was reluctant to say more but after much pressure from me hinted that I may be compensated. I am below 60 years old and am a graduate homemaker, so I guess I don't fall into the 'vulnerable' group.
January 16, 2009 11:59 PM
Anonymous said...

"MAS deputy managing director for market conduct, Shane Tregillis said: 'MAS is satisfied that ..."

The issue is not whether MAS is satisfied. The issue is whether the holders are satisfied with MAS...
Big Joke ... More good years...
January 17, 2009 12:24 AM
Anonymous said...

You see,

no/low education is better sometimes.

if you are highly educated, you can forget about getting compensated.
January 17, 2009 12:29 AM
Anonymous said...

Those got compensation sign non-disclosure agreement.
January 17, 2009 12:53 AM
Anonymous said...

A toxic product sold by 2 diferent agents having different accountability. Some regulatory men must be sleeping.
January 17, 2009 1:31 AM
Anonymous said...

Going by the statistics, with several thousands expected to receive some form of compensation, it shows that there is serious problems in how banks have been selling financial products to the public, and in my opinion, putting banks in the same category as Time Share companies.

It is also an indication that our regulatory body and government's decision to give financial institution a free rein is questionable. Society is yet to mature to a stage where the government can leave such matters to the free market.

With such large compensations, it is apparent that there is a systematic failure in the in the consumer market for financial products....

leading individuals in position, both in the government and banks, need to be accountable for this debacle.
January 17, 2009 7:15 AM

Ah Hai
16-01-2009, 10:56 PM
58% of investors who complained about Lehman-linked products to be compensated
By Nicholas Fang/Valarie Tan/May Wong, Channel NewsAsia | Posted: 16 January 2009 1836 hrs



Investors gather at Speakers' Corner to share their experience about the failed financial products (file picture)


Related News
• Investors of failed structured products to know outcome of complaints by mid-Jan
• Distributors of Lehman Minibond Notes to contribute to legal costs
• HK investors of Lehman products urge banks for refunds
• Hong Kong securities regulator defends system in financial crisis
• Minibonds investors attend seminar in preparation for class action suit
• FIDReC expands resources to handle expected increase in complaints
Related Videos
58% of investors who complained about Lehman-linked products to be compensated

SINGAPORE: Over half of investors who complained about their investments in products linked to the collapsed Lehman Brothers will get some or all of their money back.

According to the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), those who will be compensated had bought Lehman Minibonds, DBS High Notes 5 and Merrill Lynch Jubilee Series 3 products.

For several weekends last year, hundreds of affected investors gathered at the Speakers' Corner at Hong Lim Park to share their experience about the failed financial products.

About 5,400 of them complained to authorities about their investments in those products. Of these, 94 per cent have been addressed. The rest are still being investigated.

One quarter of the some 5,100 investors will get all their money back. A third will get only some of their investment back.

MAS said banks and institutions will take a few weeks to personally inform all investors individually about their cases.

Some 8,000 retail investors in Singapore had bought Lehman Minibonds worth S$375 million. About 350 investors had put S$23 million into the Merrill Lynch Jubilee Series 3 notes, while 1,400 investors had subscribed to S$103 million worth of DBS High Notes 5.

If individuals are still not happy about the compensation they receive, MAS said they can still turn to the Financial Industry Disputes Resolution Centre (FIDReC) for further mediation.

As of January 9, FIDReC has received 210 complaints - 40 were for DBS High Notes 5, 129 for Lehman Minibonds, 28 for Merrill Lynch Jubilee Series 3 and five for Morgan Stanley Pinnacle Series 9 and 10 Notes.

FIDReC said the majority of these are in the investigation and mediation stages.

Of the some 530 investors who bought Lehman Minibonds through stockbroking firms, only 3 per cent will be compensated.

"We will file our case to FIDReC first and hopefully FIDReC would be professional to do something about it," said a Lehman Minibonds investor. "If it doesn't work, we will definitely consider class action."

For cancer survivor "Rachel" (not her real name), who invested S$20,000 through Hong Leong Finance, she said: "I shall see how much is the percentage (of compensation) first. After that, I'll decide (what to do)."

MAS said investors will lose their compensation offer from the financial institutions if they go to FIDReC.

MP for Ang Mo Kio GRC, Inderjit Singh, said: "I would advise customers to think carefully before they reject. There were people who did not know what they were buying. And for such people, I hope banks will treat them fairly. But for those who are in the know and they lost their investment, I think they too want to accept.

"The processes that MAS has in place to control these things and also how these products are released are generally robust and perhaps in the execution is where we may have seen some problems.

"So, we maybe want to look at how the banks and the financial institutions are executing some of the rules that have been put in place, rather than to make drastic changes to the rules, because if you want to be a financial centre and attract other institutions to look at operations here, we cannot over control the environment.

"I personally think there has not been a significant problem in the rules, but how the rules were implemented and executed on the ground.

"One of the ways banks could change is to separate bank deposits areas from (places) where investment products were sold. This is something I would like to see the banks do, as what has happened was simply because many people in this case had thought the minibonds were an extension of deposits."

Mr Inderjit Singh will raise questions on the issue when Parliament sits on Monday.

MAS said it is not able to comment further as it is still investigating the selling practices and policies of banks and financial institutions. But it said a review on current regulations is underway and it would seek feedback from the public by the middle of March 2009.

- CNA/ir
http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/singaporelocalnews/view/402902/1/.html

Ah Hai
16-01-2009, 10:57 PM
Friday, January 16, 2009
Compensation for credit linked notes
Further details of the compensation are shown in MAS website:
http://www.mas.gov.sg/news_room/press_releases/2009/MAS_Provides_Updates_on_Complaints_Resolution.html

According to the MAS statement, the investors would be informed about the compensation offer in stages over the next few weeks. This could explain why so few investors have received their offer of compensation so far.
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 8:58 PM
22 comments:

Ah Hai
16-01-2009, 10:58 PM
22 comments:

Tan Kin Lian said...

Someone observed that the compensation offer is not as generous and reported. Most of the full compensation are for the minibonds where the amounts invested were smaller and there is still residual value.

Only a small percentage of investors get full or high compensation for the high notes, where the amounts invested are higher.

It is useful to look at the total amount that is invested and compensated in the various categories.
January 16, 2009 9:11 PM
Tiang said...

For stockbroking firms, only 13% of investors will be compensated. The 13% covers both full and partial compensation. This means that 87% of investors will not get a single cent. Is this correct?
January 16, 2009 9:25 PM
Anonymous said...

For claims above S$50,000, FIDReC will be able to adjudicate such claims if either the FI agrees to allow FIDReC to hear the claim or the investor agrees to limit his claim to S$50,000. Most FIs have indicated they will agree to FIDReC adjudicating claims above S$50,000 on a case-by-case basis. A few FIs have agreed to allow FIDReC to adjudicate all claims up to a limit of S$75,000.

Meaning u invest above 50k, you are finished? How fair is that?
January 16, 2009 9:28 PM
Anonymous said...

WELL DONE! Mr. Tan

Without your initiatives I doubt we will see the result today.

Cheers
January 16, 2009 9:42 PM
Anonymous said...

MAS said investors will lose their compensation offer from the financial institutions if they go to FIDReC.

Isn't this tricky and like take it or lose it situation?

How not to accept since this condition clearly deterring the victims from escalating further..

I really praying hard now that my kins will be compensated in FULL
January 16, 2009 10:07 PM
Anonymous said...

How about those who have yet to complain...? Logically, these mis-selling are so obvious and prevalent....it is quite a joke that we still need to complain to get an obvious "Mis-Selling compensation...58% of complaints are being compensated...these are the Solid proofs that the Miss-Selling are so outrages.
January 16, 2009 10:19 PM
Anonymous said...

Looking at the tables, in future, it is still safer to buy from the banks than the other institutions.
January 16, 2009 10:26 PM
Anonymous said...

Thank you, Mr Tan and all who has one or another "help to pull this together", which otherwise is lost and gone for good.
January 16, 2009 10:34 PM
Tan Kin Lian said...

The compensation from the brokers are lower than from the banks. Reason?

The investors approached the brokers to buy the credit linked notes after reading the advertisements.

For the banks, the relationship managers approached the depositors to ask them to invest ub the credit linked notes.

I suspect that this is the key difference for the difference in the payouts.
January 16, 2009 10:37 PM
Anonymous said...

The independent adviser came to my house to persuade me to buy.
I am not aware of the product or their launch bec I find it to costly to buy newspaper.
But I don't get a single cents.
Is this ridiculus???
January 16, 2009 10:41 PM
Anonymous said...

Where is the justice????
January 16, 2009 10:42 PM
zhummmeng said...

It doesn't make sense that compensation is not full when mis-selling is recognised as the underlying cause. Mis-selling amounts to cheating. Isn't cheating a crime? There must be full restitution by the wrong doers.
It is unfair that age and lack of education are used as criteria to judge whether there was mis -selling.
In the many postings before we saw many VERY EDUCATED PhDs couldn't understand the working mechanism of structured products let alone investors without finance background.
I think MAS is sticking to the disclosure based regime and wouldn't admit that it is not applicable to all products except stocks. While disclosure is useful and helpful to some but not to the vast majority of consumers.
Advisory process requires the adviser to advise whether the product is good or bad and that is advisory and it requires expressing an opinion because the advisor is in the best position to know whether the product meets the consumers' needs and circumstances and not the consumers.Consumers CANNOT make INDEPENDENT decision
It is sad that pride is behind MAS refusal to come clean of its mistakes.
Legal action is preferred to shame all parties to this debacle.
January 16, 2009 10:55 PM
Ed said...

MAS couldn't be bothered about the Pinnacle Notes investors!

No mention of PN complains.
January 16, 2009 11:01 PM
Anonymous said...

How can the term ' Almost all elderly investors with little income, formal education or investment experience were compensated ' when mas never show us the numbers of elderly getting compensation. IT JUST SHOW US the % of cases being compensated. Even there is really 58%, who knows this 58% are cases in 5k or 10k? Why dont they give us the $ they paid out if they do instead of giving % of paid out? If you are the bank, will you paid out someone who invest 500k 60 yrs old with no income or 100 cases of 5k to make the book look good. Think about it!
January 16, 2009 11:13 PM
Anonymous said...

A toxic product is a Toxic product. I received updates from my Financial Adviser Representative (FAR) on Minibond notes, and after receiving advice from him, bought the notes from a brokerage. I received a rejection letter from the brokerage firm.
I will take this up with Fidrec, why the investigation process is not thorough or the resolution is not fair? Why "advice" from bank RM is different as "advice" from FAR who represented the brokerage?
January 16, 2009 11:23 PM
Anonymous said...

MR TAN
Please keep up the good work. I think the battle is not over. It is only the beginning. Let's wait and pray.

Most important is to see also the quantum of compensation in terms of VALUE. I think the numbers presented refers to cases.
eg. If you compensate ONE small case and no action for the other ONE large case, you have 50% compensation in statistics.

From CASHEW NUT
January 16, 2009 11:40 PM
Anonymous said...

Dear Mr.Tan,

Your reason that the lower percentage of compensation cases from the Stock Broking Firms is because the investors approached the Broking Firms is not correct. In my case, I did not approach the Broking firm, it was the rep from the stock broking who approached me over the phone and convinced me to purchase the product. I submitted my complaint, but was rejected by the Stock Broking firm without giving me any reasons.
January 16, 2009 11:43 PM
Anonymous said...

Bought from IFA, the IFA hide behind "Introducer agreement", so we get nothing, is it fair???
A mis-selling is a mis-selling. Just bec we are not well verse in legal term we got """"""???
where is justice?
January 16, 2009 11:51 PM
Vincent Sear said...

I agree with T.K.L. In transaction, there's a question of representation. Tied agents and bank RMs are usually deemed to represent the sale side of the equation, whereas independent brokers are usually deemed to represent the buy side.

When a product is found to be faulty or "toxic", you're likely to get more compensation if you're sold than if you bought.
January 17, 2009 12:39 AM
5D said...

On an overall basis, this certainly exceeded my expectation. More important to the monetary compensation is the restore to some extent of people’s confidence in the checks and balances in our financial system. I don’t even know my own outcome so my comments are impartial.

I would like to compliment MAS and the Financial Institutions for their efforts. And the independent persons who oversee the complaint handling process. And, last but not least, Mr. TAN Kin Lian (and many supporting volunteers) for taking the leadership and devoting his time to lead the efforts, rain or shine. Without his leadership and the support, I am sure we would not have gotten over 5,000 people going forward with the complaint process.

In a massive process like this, unfortunately not everyone will get full satisfaction. Now that I have confidence in the complaint handling process, I hope MAS and the Financial Institutions will continue the same spirit in the FIDReC process – particularly in working with the FI’s to raise the $50,000 FIDReC limit. Else I think we will end up with a lot of the remaining cases in court. Or we might have people losing more than $50,000 still going through the FIDReC process to get their case heard before moving on to the court system.

I setup my HK5D alias to challenge Singapore to be faster in this process. Singapore clearly won. And, I promised that I would change my alias to SG5D after Singapore won.

P.S. I just checked – SG5D has been taken. So, SG is indeed 5D after all :-)
January 17, 2009 12:50 AM
Anonymous said...

The compensation from the brokers is almost zero despite they sent the misleading brochure to promote the sale of minibond to customers. Is not this the same as the RM approached the depositors to ask them to invest in the CLN? They even confirmed CLN were a safe porduct. Why the same product marketed by banks and brokers and yet having different responsibilities. Perhaps, the brokers should not be selling the product is the first place.

Raising claim limit above $50,000 to be tested at Fidric, what mentioned in Parliament and request to the FI are completely different.
January 17, 2009 12:53 AM
Anonymous said...

MAS advised all parties to take a less legalistic approach in this fiasco. Why then a vast difference in compensation between Banks and Brokers?
January 17, 2009 1:43 AM

Ah Hai
16-01-2009, 11:07 PM
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Compensation for Credit Linked Notes
This survey is for you to share some information about the compensation offer given to you on the credit linked notes. As you are under a "no disclosure agreement", you do not have to provide your particulars. You can avoid giving personal details that can identify your case specifically. Please give general information that can be helpful to other customers who were misled into buying these notes.

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=maxJ5w55nQ4QvAzQzEEVIw_3d_3d
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 5:54 AM

Ah Hai
17-01-2009, 07:04 AM
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Thought for the day - who will speak the words that need to be heard?

" If reporters don't report and universities don't debate; if the "open society" is really just a hushed conversation within a gated community; if information is ground under by right-wing think tanks - in short, if power is admired and truth despised - then who will speak the words clearly that need to be heard"
Roger Langen

Ah Hai
17-01-2009, 07:05 AM
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Current market values of the credit linked notes
I wish to ask visitors to share what you know to be the current market values of the various series of credit linked notes (i.e. minibonds, high notes, pinnacle notes, jubilee notes, etc).

Please post the current values here, with the dates. Also, indicate the source of the information, e.g. website.

The note-holders will be receiving the offer of compensation from the financial institution soon. They will need to compare the offer with the market values, to make sure that the offer is at least higher.

If I have sufficient information, I shall organise them in an easy to read format. Please share your information for the benefit of all.


Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 2:20 PM

Ah Hai
17-01-2009, 07:07 AM
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Full refund of $100,000
Dear Mr. Tan,

My mother-in-law obtained a full refund of $100,000 from the financial institution on the minibond that she bought. We positioned our complaint based on the advice given in your blog. (Specific details have been removed, due to non-disclosre requirements). I wish to thank you for your help.


Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 2:57 PM

Ah Hai
17-01-2009, 07:08 AM
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Queen's Counsel opinion

My lawyer contact has sent a request to the Queen's Counsel a week ago. We have still not received a reply from the Queen's Counsel on the cost of the opinion. Hence, the QC opinion will not be ready this month. I hope that it can be ready next month - provided that the cost is within budget.
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 3:02 PM

Ah Hai
17-01-2009, 07:10 AM
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Complaint on mis-selling of CLN
MAS has announced the decision made by the financial institutions on the 5,000 complaints received from the holders of the credit-linked notes (i.e. minibond, high note, jubilee note).

The other holders who have not lodged their complaints can still lodge them now. If you do not know how to lodge this complaint, I suggest that you see a lawyer to prepare a statutory declaration containing the truthful answers to the following questions:

1. Your name, NRIC, address, telephone
2. How did you get involved in the investment?
3. Which financial institution, branch, amount invested, date
4. What happened when you purchased the investment?
5. Were you alone or accompanied by another person? Who?
6. What did the representative (who sold the investment to you) tell you about investment?
7. Did the representative tell you about any guarantee on your investment?
8. Did they make you sign any form regarding the investment? Did you understand the content of the form? Was it given to you before or after you agreed to make the investment? Did you read the form? Did you understand the content?
9. Did you rely on the advice of the representative in making the investment? Which were the important aspects of the advice?
10. Do you have any other statements to make regarding this matter?

This declaration can be used to support your complaint to the financial institution that sold the credit linked note to you. It can also be used for your complaint to the Financial Industry Dispute Resolution Center (if you have to take it to the second stage). As this statement is made under oath, it is likely to have a stronger impact.

However, you should take note that it is not compulsory for you to have a statutory declaration).

You can contact the following lawyer:

Fee $150 plus GST plus disbursement (total $201.55)
Assomull & Partners
111 North Bridge Road
#22-04/05/06 Peninsula Plaza
Singapore 179098
Contact Person: Ms. Lauereth Loh, Tel: 63394466

You can also contact any of the lawyers listed here:
http://www.tankinlian.com/forms/ListofLawyersFinancialCrisisAssist(081101).pdf

Here is the guide for lodging a complaint to FIDREC:
http://www.mas.gov.sg/consumer/structured_products/fidrec_faqs.html
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 3:09 PM

Ah Hai
17-01-2009, 07:12 AM
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Talk to Singapore Governemnt

Message from TKL Volunteers

We have set up a Google moderator group. It allows people to submit questions or give suggestions and let others vote whether they like or dislike the questions. You can also do it anonymously. You can also submit your own questions or suggestions and let other people vote on them.

You can try it at
http://moderator.appspot.com/#15/e=145db&t=145dc


Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 11:00 PM

Ah Hai
18-01-2009, 02:17 AM
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Blog will hit 1 million visitors by 23 Feb 2009
Earlier, this blog was expected to hit 500,000 visitors by 11 Nov 2008. This was hit much earlier, due to the minibond crisis.

Based on the current trends, this blog is expected to hit 1 million visitors by 23 Feb 2009 (i.e 3 months after the earlier target date).


Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 4:32 PM

Ah Hai
18-01-2009, 02:24 AM
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Survey: Rating of Government ministries (Singapore)
Participate in this survey:
http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=ZR_2fOTaCO5_2fQ716EULdhh0w_3d_3d

Here is a prelimary report based on 14 replies:
Survey Results

Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 10:00 AM
2 comments:

Loh Hon Chun said...

I would say, many do not even know how most of the ministries work. Without that knowledge, the survey may not reflect truly.

hongjun
January 17, 2009 11:04 PM
C H Yak said...

The second question should read how do you rate the "Minister" in charge of the Ministries ...?

Not "Ministries" in charge of the Ministries ...
January 17, 2009 11:14 PM

Ah Hai
18-01-2009, 02:25 AM
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Survey: Central database of medical records
Should we have a central database of medical records? Will it lead to more efficient treatment and low medical cost? Give your views in this survey.

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=QALcpiAF2TsyYKQ_2bt0yjKg_3d_3d

Here are the results based on 24 replies.
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 11:00 AM
3 comments:

Parka said...

I think I've read something similar that's being tested in US. It's a central databased uploaded onto a central server online. Different hospitals (and insurance companies when permitted) can then access information.

The problem is kick starting the project. There's no motivation for hospitals, specifically the people working in the hospitals, to go ahead with this. (Tell me how they are paid and I will tell you how they will behave.) The initiative will have to be from the government.
January 14, 2009 6:50 PM
Anonymous said...

Three things:

1. Everyone should realize that medical information belongs to the individual. It does not get any more personal. It certainly does NOT belong to the hospital or any agency. Hence, instead of centralizing medical information, we should do the opposite to secure (e.g. using a smart card) such information individually but make the information accessible with hospital/clinic systems provided the individual gives consent.

2. A centralized database poses the real danger of a bulk compromise. This applies to medical records, financial, credit card records, etc. It has happened before and it will happen again.

3. The real question is NOT whether the data should be centralized. The systems are just NOT inter-operable, as a result there can be no meaningful exchange of data regardless of where it is stored. This should be fixed first.
January 15, 2009 5:24 PM
Hunter-Gatherer said...

I worked for a company that supplied IT to GPs and collected anonymised information at the end of the month. This data was used to produce health studies that were paid for by drug companies and local health authorities.

Public authorities are not food at IT projects and private companies cannot be trusted with sensitive data. So we need to find a way to standardise the systems used by health professionals and allow the information to be made available.
January 16, 2009 7:13 PM

Ah Hai
18-01-2009, 02:26 AM
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Survey: Helping Singaporeans to cope with recession

Take part in this survey:
http://www.tankinlian.com/articles/recession.pdf

Here are the results based on 85 responses.


Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 11:00 AM
1 comments:

Toidy said...

What about increasing GST to 8.5% in exchange for free bus and MRT?
Job seekers/retrenched would have a better time since travelling to companies for interviews would now be free.
There are other benefits too. It would encourage people to spend less. More importantly, it encourages people to take public transport instead of cars or taxis which do not utilize road efficiently and emit more carbon dioxide per commuter.
January 17, 2009 7:27 PM

Ah Hai
18-01-2009, 02:27 AM
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Survey: Looking for a job in 2009?

Are you likely to look for a job in 2009? In view of the recession, are you prepared to consider non-standard job options? Do you need help?

Take part in this survey.

Here are the results based on 27 replies.
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 11:00 AM
2 comments:

debt relief said...

Certainly there are lots of people today who are forced to find different work. It's a bit scary out there.
January 10, 2009 12:08 PM
Anonymous said...

Actually the best job is to be an MP. You are assured of a 200K pa job for at least 4 to 5 years, never mind your performance.

Why?

Because no matter what, the gahmen does not want to have by-elections. They cannot sack MPs based on poor performance, only when they are convicted of a crime.

Don't you think so?
January 10, 2009 9:25 PM

Ah Hai
18-01-2009, 02:28 AM
Sunday, January 18, 2009
My view: decision on 5,000 complaints

Here are my views about the decisions made by the banks on the complaints of mis-selling of the credit linked notes.

1. About 1,280 (25%) noteholders will receive full compensation. This is good news and is higher than I had expected. I like to know the amount of compensation to see if the full compensation is given mainly to the small investors or is well distributed among the small and large investors.

2. About 1,670 noteholders (33%) will be offered partial compensation. To help them decide on whether to accept the compensation, they should be informed the current value of their notes, so that they can make an informed decision.

3. Another 6,000 noteholders have not lodged their complaints yet. They should step forward to lodge their complaint now, if they have been mis-sold.


Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 10:00 PM
6 comments:

Anonymous said...

These figures are bullsh1t.
Defintely not true for DBS
January 17, 2009 5:50 PM
Anonymous said...

How about those structured products, like HN2, that are at the edge of being terminated but are still held by investors ? Given the bleak outlook of the world economy, it is a matter of time that such products also lose all their value like HN5 and some series of the minibonds. So far I have not heard of any FIs offering any compensation to holders of these products although these products are also mis-sold to the public. Maybe the HNGroup can tell us whether any HN2 holders have been compensated or refunded.
January 17, 2009 9:57 PM
Anonymous said...

According to newsreports, most complainants that do not get compensation for their investment in High Notes 2 are those "Treasure" accounts holders with the who have at least $200k with the bank. So it appears that if you have some money, you must be smart enough not to be conned by sellers of the notes. Is this logical? What's the point of maintaining the "Treasure" status when the bank treats you like goondu? I understand that if your balance falls below $200k with the bank, "Treasure" account holders will be charged a monthly fee of $50 just to keep the status, which means a lofty $600 for a year!! Goondu....
January 17, 2009 10:35 PM
Anonymous said...

That is why I decided to be "struck off" the "Treasure status". I see not much value to it on top of paying a fee (if investment balance fall short of the required $200K). Yeah, you have the privilege of a shorter queue while banking at the counter but I usually e-transact. The RM usually have their own agenda and is not really of much of a help.
I remember once there was a fixed deposit promotion going on (3% pa, I think). The RM does not bother even to inform me and left me to leave my savings of several hundreds of thousand dollars idling in their dismal savings account of 0.25%. I eventually found this out while scanning their website.
January 17, 2009 11:08 PM
Anonymous said...

MR TAN
Good summary. I am particular enlightened by point [3] of your comment that there are at least another 6,000 investors who have not lodged complaint. I guess there could be still people who have NO CLUE that they were mis-rep or mis-sold.

The classic maxim is that "you cannot know what you do not know", when you are in complete darkness. Especially, those who have no access to internet. Let us pray for those who are still in the dark, hopefully, they are not old folks.

From CASHEW NUT
January 17, 2009 11:25 PM
Anonymous said...

In this case, we should look the gift horse in the mouth. Indeed, look very carefully.

MAS appears to have drawn the line at mis-selling (if there's such a word). That is, some FIs had messed up, they sold some products to some target customers they should not have. Hence, the compensation. But the products are not toxic.

What about the misrepresentation and fraud? MAS must be taken to task for not properly regulating the FIs in the first place and whitewashing the subsequent investigation.
January 18, 2009 9:37 AM

Ah Hai
18-01-2009, 02:30 AM
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Survey: Compensation for Credit Linked Notes
This survey is for you to share some information about the compensation offer given to you on the credit linked notes. As you are under a "no disclosure agreement", you do not have to provide your particulars. You can avoid giving personal details that can identify your case specifically.

Please give general information that can be helpful to other customers who were misled into buying these notes.
http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=maxJ5w55nQ4QvAzQzEEVIw_3d_3d

Here are the survey results based on 26 replies:
Survey results

Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 10:00 PM

Ah Hai
18-01-2009, 11:21 PM
Monday, January 19, 2009
Tips - what to avoid

1. Never invest with borrowed money
2. Never invest from a marketing company (e.g. time share, land banking, etc)
3. Never invest to get a free gift (it comes from your own money)

Read this article about Storm Financial.
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 7:28 AM 0 comments Links to this post
Democracy
Contributed by Ho Cheow Seng

Article

Participate in this survey.
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 6:58 AM 0 comments Links to this post
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Survey: Active Citizenship

Are you willing to be an active citizen and express your views on issues affecting society?
Survey

Ah Hai
19-01-2009, 05:59 AM
Monday, January 19, 2009
Google documents
I am now using Google documents to publish my survey findings. I wish to thank the reader that give me this wonderful tip.
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 8:30 AM

Ah Hai
19-01-2009, 06:01 AM
Monday, January 19, 2009
Sue the relationship manager
A noteholder wanted to sue the relationship manager for giving bad advice. Other people said that there is no point to sue the relationship manager, as he will not be able to compensate the noteholder for the financial loss.

Someone told me that this is a good strategy. The relationship manager is likely to confess and tell the truth. In that case, the wrong-doings of the financial institutin will be brought to light. They might be more willing to give a fair settlement.



Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 8:35 AM
5 comments:

Anonymous said...

you only get truth from the horse's mouth.
What is being done, the compensation on piecemeal basis, is pulling the wool over the consumers' eyes. You can say, it is wayang, to appear 'doing the right thing'. Are they doing the right thing? Don't be fooled. With all the praises heaped on the 3 so called indepedent people to oversee the mediation process, my question is "were they biased" pro FIs?
There are still many many disgruntled investors who are victims of their own background which has absolutely nothing to do with this debacle.To say that being educated or being young you had the capacity to understand those products you bought and to make informed decision is unfair and echoing the MAS mentality.
I think it is futile to argue on this basis. The best strategy is to get evidence of mis-selling from the the very people you bought the product, sue the RMs.Once the beans are spilled go for the kill, go for the FIs.The truth will prevail.
Lies and falsehood cannot withstand examination and cross examination.
January 19, 2009 9:40 AM
Anonymous said...

MR TAN
Is it possible to carry out a SURVEY in your BLOG of those "RM's names" and "number of occurrence" and the type of "Produts", which complaints was lodged. This would help us to see which RM has the HIGHER OCCURRENCE. If a pattern is clear, we may be able to go after the particular RM as a mini-class action against "the specific RM" of whatever FI.

Part of the process will definitely requires the RM to present his/her case and knowledge of the products. I think this s a fair process, bec current the interview is the FI asking questions on the investors; while the investor is only waiting for the sky to drop gold or dust?

The SURVEY can be in the following format: [a] RM name [b] Product name [c] Amount [d] Month purchased [e] FI name [f] Nickname of participant of the survey.
January 19, 2009 10:26 AM
Anonymous said...

Dear friends,
The BIG THIEF is sometimes caught when committing SMALL THEFT. This is because the police is very good in linking isolated cases together. Seems to me that this skill should be put to use by the independent persons entrusted in ensuring the complaint handling is fair.

Yours truly, Humble Thot
January 19, 2009 10:57 AM
Anonymous said...

I agree the propose from 10:26am
January 19, 2009 11:04 AM
Anonymous said...

Is anyone really going to start a court proceeding if banks are proceeding to compensate investors?
January 19, 2009 11:06 AM

Ah Hai
19-01-2009, 06:03 AM
Monday, January 19, 2009
Role of private capital
Private capital thrives well in a booming economy. They make easy money. They even contribute towards creating bubbles in asset prices. As the prices keep going up, they make more money.
When the bubble burst, private capital is unwilling to take risk. This caused the collapse of the credit market.
Read this article.
The Governments have to step in to provide funds to re-capitalise the banks, to guarantee bank deposits, to guarantee the credits of borrowers (i.e. homeowners, small businesses). In this case, what is the purpose of private capital?
This has happened in USA, UK, Singapore and many other countries.
What is the solution in the future? I believe that the capital has to be provided by the state (it is already happened) or by state-sponsored mutual funds. Ir should not be provided by private capital that are driven by short term gains.
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 8:39 AM

Ah Hai
19-01-2009, 06:04 AM
Monday, January 19, 2009
Happy noteholders who received 100% compensation
I wish to pass this message to the 1,200 happy noteholders who received 100% compensation.
You have spent a few months of agony and worry. You were uncertain about whether your money would be gone forever.
You were deilighted to receive the recent letter or telephone call that you would be getting 100% compensation. Some of you wrote an e-mail to thank me for helping to achieve this happy outcome.
I wish to ask you to consider this possible situation. Suppose you had received a offer of partial compensation (which you consider to be insufficient) or a rejection. How would you have felt? There are 10,000 noteholders who are in this unhappy situation.
What can you do to help the other noteholders? I ask you to consider to express your support and solidarity for them.
Perhaps, if you are generous, you can consider donating 5% of the amount that you received towards a fund to help them to get legal opinion and assistance? This is just a thought. If there are sufficient people interested to make this donation, I will get someone to organise it.
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 9:49 AM
5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I agree that those who recieved 100% compensation should help the rest to defray the legal fees when they sue the FIs and the RMs.
5% as suggested may not be enough but it is demonstration of empathy and solidarity.
January 19, 2009 10:11 AM
Anonymous said...

MR TAN
If I were to get any compensation for any amount, I would be gratefully contributing 5% to this fund to help those who are still in the process. I know the pain involved as I am journeying with my wife's battle, who was lied, mis-rep and mis-led into buying and now spending time researching instead of time with family. We are still awaits the outcome of our battle . . . . Please advise the BANK ACCT details.
January 19, 2009 10:12 AM
Anonymous said...

I have yet to receive any news or update for this minibond saga.

Jsmin
January 19, 2009 10:47 AM
Chan J C said...

Thank you Mr. Tan for the innovative iddea to get help from those who receive 100% compensation.

I would like to appeal to those who receive 100% compensation to show your compassion with some % of contribution to Mr. Tan so that he can help the rest of the victims.

Regards
January 19, 2009 10:48 AM
ym said...

Mr Tan, i am really interested in the average amount of compensation (% wise and absolute amount)...

In actuarial speak, we have seen the average frequency (number of compensation), but MAS has not been so transparent with the average severity...

i think this is more indicative of fairness in the compensation package..
January 19, 2009 10:55 AM

Ah Hai
19-01-2009, 06:08 AM
Monday, January 19, 2009
Survey: Life in Singapore
How do Singaporeans feel about life in Singapore?
Survey
Here are the survey results.
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 10:35 AM

Ah Hai
20-01-2009, 08:14 AM
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Complaining to sellers of credit linked notes
Message from Adrian Tan

Mr Tan Kin Lian has urged that the many people who have yet to lodge a complaint to do so.
If you are one of them, you should because the results of the MAS/FIs Complaints Resolution process are more favourable than many have expected. Read this.

In particular, minibond investors who have not complained, should do so because "For the Lehman Minibond Programme Notes which were sold by banks and one finance company, 34% will receive offers of full settlement and 41% will receive offers of partial settlement; for those sold by stockbroking firms, 1% will receive offers of full settlement and 12% % will receive offers of partial settlement."
The following form, was drafted for the use of the layperson complainant. It is self-explanatory. Many investors have used the format.
(Note to users -- You can just type the questions down in an email message, and answer them according. You need not, print out a hard copy and answer on it. Just use the format in an email message.) After completion, you can send the form here.
As said earlier, the form is self-explanatory, and anyone who has a secondary school education in English should have no problem filling it in for himself, a relative or friend. But for anyone who doesn't want to fill it in person, and is willing to pay me S$120, I will prepare a draft based on the information provided. I can be contacted at [email protected]
No point asking me to do it for free. If you can send me an email in English, you can fill it in yourself at no monetary cost to yourself or to complainant.
A Tan

Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 2:31 PM
1 comments:

vertigoer said...

Just point for thought.
Have any 4D or Toto punters ever complained about loosing 100% of their investment?

If investors know that they can lose 100% of their investment, no one will complain.

Another example is people buying stocks, if the company when bankrupt and stock drop to ZERO. No one will complain, as they know they can loose 100% of their money in stock trading.

If so many people complain about a investment product, surely, there is some problem with the seller.

Hong Kong government agency did the investigation and found problems in FI.

MAS stop handling as complain, period. Do your job.
January 20, 2009 3:23 PM

Ah Hai
21-01-2009, 07:22 AM
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Great value in voluntary help
I was shocked to learn that a senior lawyer charges $2,000 an hour to look into the credit linked notes.
Adrian Tan, who help me in the credit linked notes, must have spent 100 or 200 hours in helping many noteholders. He earns nothing. Adrian was a lawyer and also a financial expert. The value of his advice and help must be worth more than the senior lawyer.
Adrian was able to spend so much time, as he is not working at this time. He spends his time managing his investments. But, if given the opportunity, he would be happy to be earn an income.
I hope that the noteholders who managed to receive 100% compensation should reflect on what Adrian Tan, and other volunteers, have done for them. I am not suggesting that they should pay the volunteers, but I want the noteholders to know that if they have used a lawyer for the same help, they would have to fork out $10,000 or more, just to get the same result.

Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 7:35 PM
6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Now we know why ministers need to be paid millions a year.

One lawyer even said he took a pay cut when he became a minister. So did a surgeon who even publicly remarked at a forum that you folks got a bargain when such people like him became ministers.
January 20, 2009 8:02 PM
Anonymous said...

If a senior lawyer is worth $2000 an hour what do you think an experienced and qualified financial planner is worth?
Are you aware that a senior counsel of good standing charges $8000 per appearance in court and it may be just for half an hour or for the full day?
I remember reading postings that many questioned $100-$150 an hour on financial planning. Have you any idea what financial planners do to charge $150 an hour or what does financial planning entail?
Is $10,000 expensive for just a retirement plan?
You want free 'advice' the insurance agents can give freely.
January 20, 2009 9:58 PM
Anonymous said...

Mr Tan,
I think Adrian Tan deserves a great applause. It will do right if you highlight a photo of him in a post, and we can send our thank through comment. At least a way to show our appreciation.
January 21, 2009 12:17 AM
N said...

Thanks for the help, Mr. Tan and Mr Adrian Tan.

Regards
January 21, 2009 1:19 AM
Anonymous said...

I would like to thank Mr Adrian Tan for helping and giving me some tips in the minibond saga.
In this time where "work starts only when $$ comes in", his selfless attitude is certainly touching.

Jasmin
January 21, 2009 7:17 AM
Adrian tan said...

Thanks Mr Tan.

Made my day.

And Anon 3, having my photo up would upset me. Thanks for tot though.
January 21, 2009 7:21 AM

Ah Hai
21-01-2009, 07:26 AM
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Make a donation, if you have received adequate compensation
In America, some lawyers are willing to take a case on a contingency fee. If they win the case, they receive 10% to 30% of the amount recovered. If they lose the case, the client only pay the expenses.

Some noteholders are interested to engage lawyers on a contingency fee to recover their money. But contingency fee is not allowed in Singapore.
Think again. We have people like Adrian Tan and other volunteers who spent several hundred hours of time and their expertise to help the noteholders to recover their money, without any promise of payment. As a result of their work, 1,280 of the noteholders will be getting back 100% compensation.
I like to ask these noteholders to consider giving a donation. If you have directly benefit from the work of any specific volunteer - be generous and give them a donation. It is for them to decide if they wish to accept it. Some of the volunteers are able to spend the time because they are not working. They do need an income.
If you wish to make a donation for my effort, I will put the money in the legal fund to engage a senior counsel or queens counsel to give a legal opinion to help the other noteholders. If there is any balance in the legal fund, I will contribute it to the financial services consumer association (FISCA) that will be establised to provide financial education to the public.
If you wish to make a contribution to the legal fund or any volunteer, you can contact me at [email protected] I will appoint someone to manage the accounts. Be generous. Remember - you could be one of the noteholders who has been rejected or have been offered inadequate compensation.

Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 9:05 AM

Ah Hai
21-01-2009, 07:28 AM
7comments:

Tan Kin Lian said...

There is one troublesome person (probably acting for a financial institution) who posted a negative remark. In deleting his comment, I also deleted two other comments by mistake. Please repost your comments.
January 21, 2009 10:35 AM

Anonymous said...

That's very gracious of you. Thanks for your service. :-)

January 21, 2009 10:37 AM
Blogger N said...

This posting is out of kindness and helping act. I don't see why these people should give any negative remark unless they have guilty conscious of what they had done.

Let them be, Mr. Tan. They will be haunted by their guilty conscious forever.

January 21, 2009 10:44 AM
Blogger Concerned said...

Very good idea. Those who have received compensation should reciprocate and help their less fortunate fellow investors. By such action, FIs and their RMs will open their eyes and not dare to lie and mislead investors again and no more unjust products will be thrown out by the FIs. In the past FIs only think of bigger profits and bigger and bigger and bigger bonus for themselves disregarding the interest of their customers and keep on recruiting more RMs every year.

January 21, 2009 11:29 AM
Anonymous Yap said...

Yes, i will do it.
Still waiting for reply from the bank.

January 21, 2009 1:32 PM
Anonymous Sanity said...

I am still waiting for reply from the bank. Will be happy to donate when I receive my compensation from them. Mine is Pinnacle Notes.

January 21, 2009 8:56 PM
Blogger Goh Meng Seng said...

Dear Kin Lian,

At one of the Minibond gathering at Hong Lim Park, one victim actually approach me. He could only speak Mandarin but he told me, he doesn't mind to donate all his Minibond Money to fight any lawsuit because these money are given to him by his belated father.

I asked him why? He said, it is afterally, not his money in the first place!

I was pretty touched back then because there is such a person that is not greedy and public spirited.

Singapore will have hope as a caring nation if we could have more of such persons.

Goh Meng Seng

January 21, 2009 10:38 PM

Ah Hai
21-01-2009, 11:04 PM
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
SCMP:Watchdog to select minibonds case soon
Article

21 Jan 2009
Joyce Man

The Consumer Council will soon choose a representative complainant to support in legal action over banks’ sale of financial derivatives issued or guaranteed by Lehman Brothers.

The products lost much or all of their value with the US bank’s collapse in September.

Democratic Party legislator Kam Nai-wai held talks with council chief executive Connie Lau Yin-hing yesterday on when the watchdog would select a case, and its progress on dealing with the 7,000 complaints the party had referred to it about the sale of Lehman Brothers derivatives.

Some 43,700 Hong Kong investors bought Lehman Brothers derivatives, mostly minibonds, worth HK$15.7 billion. Despite their name, minibonds are not corporate bonds but complex, credit-linked derivatives.

Investors claim the products were mis-sold as low-risk.

The council has been sorting through complaints to single out cases suitable for help from its legal action fund, and has identified 45.

Mr Kam urged the council to consider not only cases that involved elderly or novice investors, but also less winnable cases. Banks were more willing to settle out of court with elderly and less experienced complainants, who had a higher chance of winning in court, he said. The council should choose some younger and well-educated complainants to send to court.

The Democratic Party said Ms Lau told it that taking a representative case to court would not have any impact on a class-action lawsuit investors may bring in a US court.
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 8:26 PM

Ah Hai
21-01-2009, 11:05 PM
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Focus on the complaint case
Dear Mr. Tan,

There is something that disturbs me tremendously. I read your blog post that talked about some of the factors that affect the final decision of the FIs on the investors complaints. I empathize with many of the investors whom I believe have been most sadly given inadequate and inaccurate information and advice by the relevant FIs and their staff, which led to them buying the structured products, in particular Minibond and Pinnacle Notes and suffering loss and distress in the process.

I have received news that there are endless delays and repeated changes in the timeline given to clients who have lodged complaints with the FIs. All too often, investors have received a letter in the mail, hoping that it communicates the FIs compensation decision, only to be notified that the FI is still reviewing their case and will reply soon. 'Soon' can mean a couple of months.
In the questionnaires that the FIs are asking investors during the complaint interview, many investors have been quizzed on their education level, past investment experience, source of funds and the amount of savings they have. Many of such questions have no actual connection to their complaint on mis-selling and make no sense at all.

I have also heard news that some FIs are investigating into the wealth and property held by the investors, which once again is totally senseless and only serves to terribly delay the reviewing process.

I hope that the FIs can focus on the facts of the investors' complaint case and offer a swift and fair reply to investors, cutting short their torment over their failed investment products, rather than dig into the investors private information on their finances and assets.

Anonymous

Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 9:27 PM
3 comments:

Ed said...

7 weeks later, after the interview, we're still waiting for Hong Leong Finance to make a decision for our complaint for Pinnacle Notes .....

*sigh*

*shake head*

MAS!

Do something about it !!!

*Fuming MAD*
January 21, 2009 11:21 PM
Sanity said...

The truth is that the depositors/ investors are misled into buying the toxic products. By obtaining their financial status, the FIs may just be trying to find excuses not to compensate them. I hope I am wrong in that especially as I trusted that FI alot.

Hopefully, they are not doing what one bank did to their "valued" Priority customers.

I agreed with the writer totally. The investigation should be based on the complaint case itself. It has nothing to do with his financial status.

I am still waiting for reply .. and it is almost 8 weeks now.
January 22, 2009 2:22 AM
Anonymous said...

Dear blog contributor
I agree. My wife was also asked how much money she has during the interview, which took place more than 1.5 months after lodging complaints. I was disgusted.
Do you mean there is a difference between you lie to a rich guy or a poor guy? How rich is rich OR how poor is poor?

From Fellow Victim
January 22, 2009 6:13 AM

Ah Hai
21-01-2009, 11:06 PM
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
A bank sue for being misled
After Sure-Bet Investment Fails, a Bank Contends It Was Duped
Article
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 9:33 PM

Ah Hai
21-01-2009, 11:07 PM
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Survey: Active Citizenship
What are your views on these issues affecting our society?
Survey
Here are the
Survey results
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 11:00 PM
2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dr. Lee Wei Ling says to right a wrong comes from the heart. Do you have a heart that is courageous to to right a wrong? If you know that something is wrong but do not have a heart that is courageous enough to right it you are committing an omission of guilt and there are many of it today. Right in your midst these wrongs are committed and glossed over daily. Insurance agents msi-sell and misrepresent the superior glossed over the senior management glossed over , the ceo glossed over. and MAS glossed over. What kind of world is this?
January 19, 2009 12:42 AM
Anonymous said...

what if i get slapped on the wrist like what happened to Catherine Lim?
January 19, 2009 1:20 AM

Ah Hai
22-01-2009, 03:21 AM
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Obama: the price and promise of citizenship
For as much as government can do and must do, it is ultimately the faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies. It is the kindness to take in a stranger when the levees break, the selflessness of workers who would rather cut their hours than see a friend lose their job which sees us through our darkest hours. It is the firefighter's courage to storm a stairway filled with smoke, but also a parent's willingness to nurture a child, that finally decides our fate.

Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends - hard work and honesty, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism - these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility - a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.

This is the price and the promise of citizenship.

President Obama's Inaugural address:
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 4:29 AM
1 comments:

G C said...

It can't be more true on Obama's Inaugural address. The true cure to today world ill, morally and financially can be found in the teaching of the Confucian more than three thousand ago. The Chinese has also forgotten about it. Honesty, responsibility all these and other values that are most lacking now can be found in our forefather teachings and it is time we go back to the roots.

G C Tham

Ah Hai
22-01-2009, 03:24 AM
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Honesty and fair play
My friend told me this story. A businessmen and a Government official were very happy. They have found a way to make a few million dollars for the businessman to import of rice into the country through a licence given by the official and to share the illegal profit in an overseas bank account.

My friend said that the illegal profit will have to be borne by the poor people who have to pay a higher price for the rice. He is sad that people can be so happy to make profit from the suffering of the poor people.
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 8:13 AM

Ah Hai
22-01-2009, 10:18 PM
2 Comments

Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is never a better time to overhaul the financial structure especailly those that regulate the the FIs , the products and the salespeople.
A new and stringent oversight regime to ensure the FIs and insurance companies don't cheat and compromise those guidelines, the internal controls and governance.
To enforce all the existing laws more seriously the ways the salespeople conduct their business and to make the advisory process compulsory.Any deviation from this process should be dealt with punishment.
Products information should be fully disclosed like what is required of medicine and drugs.
It is also time to get rid of unethical and incompetent insurance agents and RMs and salespeople.
Consumers should be wary of these salespeople. They should consult and seek advice from FISCA before buying and after buying. They should seek review of their existing policies for mis-selling and misrepresentation and unethical practices.
The time for all these is NOW. The impact will be lessened.

January 22, 2009 12:51 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

MAS should follow CHina in dealing with wicked and dishonest salespeople selling insurance and investemnt products like in the melamine milk case.Take swift action and tighten regulation to send a strong signal to other salespeople like insurance agents, FAs and RMs. Although nobody died of the toxic minibomb their suffering is worse than that. It is agonising.

January 22, 2009 7:24 PM

Ah Hai
22-01-2009, 10:21 PM
Friday, January 23, 2009
Obama Whistle Stop Tour
Watch this short video.
http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/the_whistle_stop_tour/
It is truly inspirational ... what a Government should be.
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 7:00 AM

Ah Hai
23-01-2009, 11:05 AM
Friday, January 23, 2009
Comparing US Departments with Singapore Ministries
Here is a comparison of the US departments with the Singapore ministries.
The US has a Department of Justice which is similar to our Ministry of Law. Perhaps, there is a difference in emphasis?

Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 7:28 AM
1 comments:

Anonymous said...

The (I&C) in the MICA comes under dept of commerce
National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA)
January 23, 2009 7:47 AM

Ah Hai
24-01-2009, 10:36 PM
9 Comments


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The (I&C) in the MICA comes under dept of commerce
National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA)

January 23, 2009 7:47 AM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do the US has control of the press, free speech, freedom of assembly?

In Singapore we know these are strictly under control, except at Hong Lim Park (for speech and assembly).

Actually no point controlling if you cannot control the internet.

That's why today is different from the 60s, 70s and 80s.

That's why in most western countries, they do not have a ministry in charge of culture and the arts. These are creative things which cannot be controlled or regulated.

January 23, 2009 1:12 PM
Anonymous Zitrone said...

It's a whole world of difference. Can't compare. Notice how each of these US departments had to answer to intense inquiry from the Senate plus media coverage when the Iraq war screwed up (Rumsfeld) and most recently, the subprime mortgage crisis (Paulson); Also, notice how the department secretaries are scrutinised by the Senate before they get confirmed.

January 23, 2009 3:34 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The difference is in the level of professionalism. SEC as an agency has admitted failure and its chairman has resigned at the wake of the Madoff scandal.

What have the MAS and the SGX (the regulator, not the business entity - why such a conflict is allowed to exist is a separate discussion) done so far in the credit-linked notes debacle?

There is no oversight and no accountability. Totally unacceptable!

January 23, 2009 5:28 PM
Anonymous E71 said...

i am not at all impressed by the US system.

They invaded another country under false pretext.

Many years later, what accountability is there ?

Democracy works only if everyone is knowledgeable.
But we all know the masses are not up to par.

January 24, 2009 9:01 AM
Blogger Tan Kin Lian said...

The Americans choose to name the Department of Justice (and not the Department of Law). They like to emphasis on Justice. Singapore emphasis on Law.

January 24, 2009 9:45 AM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

MR TAN
Thank you. I learn something interesting from you today. You shared ... "The Americans choose to name the Department of Justice (and not the Department of Law). They like to emphasis on Justice. Singapore emphasis on Law." ... My guess:

[a] Department of Justice - sounds more like "heart-driven" approach for the ministry
[b] Department of Law - sounds more like "brain-driven" approach for the ministry

Maybe our government could ponder the terminology change, as many government organisations have changed names serveral times eg. TCS, SBC, Miadia Corps etc etc. Also, Nantah, NTI, NTU, NYU etc.

I think this is doable by our Government.

From CASHEW NUT

January 24, 2009 10:16 AM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

E71,

Bush, Cheney and others may yet be prosecuted for war crimes. Take a look at the following for background.

http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/7805

http://www.opednews.com/articles/The-Bush-administration-co-by-Sandy-Shanks-090112-295.html

Taiwan has taken a lead to prosecute its former leader (president). If the situation calls for it, do we even have a workable mechanism for it? Think about it.

January 24, 2009 11:27 AM
Blogger Vincent Sear said...

Foreign Affairs in Singapore is called the State Department in the US. Singapore seems to emphasize on dealings and relations with foreign countries while the US seems to emphasize that what happens in the rest of world outside the US are still very much concerns of the state.

The emphasis is significant in that the US Secretary of State is widely viewed as the second highest ranking statesperson in just below the President, even more important than Vice President.

Also notable in the UK, in WW2 and earlier, there was the Foreign & Colonial Office and the Ministry of War, later changed to Foreign Office and Ministry of Defence.

January 24, 2009 11:52 AM

Ah Hai
24-01-2009, 10:37 PM
Saturday, January 24, 2009
HK brokerage agrees to refund minibond buyers
By Tom Mitchell in Hong Kong
Published: January 23 2009 04:22 | Last updated: January 23 2009 04:22

A Hong Kong brokerage has agreed to refund retail investors in full for their losses on so-called “Lehman Brothers Minibonds”, in a settlement that will set a worrying precedent for other financial institutions in the territory that have sold about $2bn worth of the controversial investment products.

In a deal reached with Hong Kong’s market regulator, the Securities and Futures Commission, Sun Hung Kai Investment Services agreed to refund $11m to more than 300 buyers of the minibonds, which are in fact complex derivative instruments linked to the now defunct US investment bank.

The agreement goes beyond calls by the Hong Kong government last year for banks to repurchase the instruments at their “market value”. Instead, Sun Hung Kai will repay investors their entire principal. Twenty-four banks and brokerages, led by Bank of China’s Hong Kong branch, sold Lehman Brothers minibonds with an estimated face value of $2bn to more than 40,000 investors.

“We are very pleased with the outcome that has been achieved and we believe the approach adopted has produced a result which is in the best interests of the investors,” Martin Wheatley, SFC chief executive, said in a statement.

The controversy surrounding the mini-bonds has sparked a political firestorm in Hong Kong, with burned investors descending regularly on bank offices, SFC headquarters and the territory’s legislature. Many have lost their life savings and claim that the risky minibonds were mis-sold by bank and brokerage staff.

While Sun Hung Kai did not admit to any wrongdoing in its settlement with the SFC, the brokerage acknowledged concerns raised by the regulator including inadequate due diligence, training of sales staff and record keeping.

“We achieved an outcome which we believe represents the best possible solution for our minibond customers,” Lee Seng-huang, Sun Hung Kai executive chairman, said. “We understand it has not been an easy time for all concerned, but we believe that this voluntary initiative will bring closure to our affected customers, particularly in light of this challenging economic environment.”

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority, the territory’s bank regulator, has received about 20,000 complaints related to the sale of minibonds. As of January 15 the authority had formally opened more than 4,500 investigations and referred 251 cases to the SFC for possible enforcement action.

Hong Kong’s politicians have also leapt into the fray, working with the protesters and forming a special legislative subcommittee to look into the controversy.
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 1:58 AM

Ah Hai
24-01-2009, 10:38 PM
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Broker compensates HK investors
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7846614.stm
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 2:00 AM


1 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dear Friends
In HK the AUTHORITY was DIRECTLY involved in the investigation of complaint. In Singapore, MAS delegate to 3 individual persons, to oversee the complaint process and leave the man-on-the-street-corner to be cornered by the FI.

The compensation by HK BROKER to investors is largely due to the AUTHORITY involvement? Do you think so? Do you agree?

Imagine, two scenarios:
[a] The rapist faces investigation by the police vs.
[b] The rapist faces investigation by the the rapist relatives [ie another dept of the FI is deemed independent] and 3 wisemen to ensure the investigation is fair etc.

From CASHEW NUT
January 24, 2009 10:03 AM

Ah Hai
24-01-2009, 10:40 PM
Saturday, January 24, 2009
SCMP:Minibond deal raises pressure for more refunds
24 Jan 2009
Joyce Man Additional reporting by Maria Chan, Enoch Yiu and Albert Wong. Source.

More institutions and banks were likely to consider compensating minibond investors after Sun Hung Kai Financial announced it would offer full refunds, a knowledgeable source said yesterday. But the source said they would each propose a deal on their own terms.

“ I think they will see what has happened with Sun Hung Kai and realise it’s a quick, better way to put this behind them,” said the source, who did not want to be named.

Sun Hung Kai Financial, parent company of Sun Hung Kai Investment Services – which sold minibonds linked to Lehman Brothers, the US investment bank that collapsed in September – announced on Thursday it would buy back minibonds from 310 customers for about HK$85 million.

At the same time, the Securities and Futures Commission raised concerns about Sun Hung Kai Investment Services’ due diligence, salesstaff training, risk assessment and record-keeping on minibonds. Minibonds are not corporate bonds but consist of high-risk credit-linked derivatives, marketed as a proxy investment in well-known firms.

Asked whether other banks might respond with compensation of 70, 80 or 90 per cent of original investments, the source said that would “depend on how serious [the commission’s] concerns are about the conduct”.

But the commission had no authority to force this on them, the source said. A spokeswoman for the Monetary Authority, which regulates banks, also said it could not do so.

The source said the deal on Thursday proved the efficacy of a top-down approach, under which the commission investigated whole institutions, not individual complaints.

Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury Chan Ka-keung said Sung Hung Kai Financial’s repurchase offer proved the commission’s investigation was effective in protecting investors’ interests. He would not say if he thought other banks would be pressured into following suit, only that he believed the commission and the Monetary Authority would be fair in their investigations.

A banker who asked not to be named said the settlement would put pressure on banks as investors would have high expectations. However, the banker said the top-down approach the SFC used had its drawback as banks would have to compensate all customers if the SFC found they had systematic problems in selling investment products.

“It’s unfair if we have to pay for all customers unless the systematic problem is very big,” the banker said, adding that it was hard to judge how big the problem would need to be to warrant compensating all customers.

Another banker expected there would be more pressure for banks to reach a similar agreement with the SFC. But he believed few would strike deals.

“It is not because the amounts of minibonds sold by banks are bigger; the major reason is that it’s unreasonable. We only compensate customers if we are wrong.”
Investors poured HK$15.7 billion into Lehman Brothers derivatives.

However, Kenny Lee Yiu-sun, chairman of the Hong Kong Stockbrokers Association, said the buyback offer had set a very good example. “Banks should also refund investors in full if they are found to have made similar mistakes.”

Peter Chan Kwong-yue, chairman of the Allied Victims of Lehman Products, said the number of clients who bought minibonds from Sun Hung Kai Investment Services and the sum they invested were relatively small, so the repurchase deal was not totally suitable for larger banks.

Democratic Party lawmaker Kam Nai-wai said the refund would set a good precedent. “ I can’t see how other banks and institutions … with similar structural deficiencies will be able to evade responsibility.”

Those eligible for the repurchase deal will receive details in the post in the first week of February.

KPMG, provisional liquidators of eight Lehman Brothers firms in Hong Kong, will begin meeting creditors on February 11.

Financials fall after buy-back offer.
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 10:06 AM
1 comments:

Anonymous said...

The source said the deal on Thursday proved the efficacy of a top-down approach, under which the commission investigated whole institutions, not individual complaints....That should be the way! SG WAKE UP!
January 24, 2009 3:50 PM

Ah Hai
24-01-2009, 10:41 PM
Saturday, January 24, 2009
SCMP:Boost investor security without stifling market
24 Jan 2009

It may be premature for most people who face losses on investments in Lehman Brothers minibonds to celebrate a victory for the small handful who have got all their money back. But any breakthrough in the saga over alleged mis-selling of the products as low-risk is welcome news for them. Aggrieved investors could not ask for more than full compensation. The HK$85 million voluntary settlement agreed by Sun Hung Kai
Investment Services for some 300 investors puts pressure on the 21 banks and two other brokerages involved in the sale of the minibonds in Hong Kong. The outcome in this case appears to vindicate the Securities and Futures Commission’s top-down approach of investigating the way institutions sold the minibonds, rather than a protracted case-by-case examination of complaints. Any adverse conclusions about an institution’s conduct can then cover all its affected clients.

Sources said the investment company apparently came forward with the settlement offer, although it has denied any liability or wrongdoing. The company obviously believes it is better to put the matter behind it quickly by settling with its clients than face the prospect of drawn out legal proceedings and the possible loss of its trading licence. In any case, its decision is commendable, as it saves its clients from further anguish and, above all, financial losses. But the real significance of the settlement is to be found in the reasons for a reprimand issued by the SFC over concerns about the way the broker sold the minibonds.

Despite their name, they were not corporate bonds but complex credit-linked instruments. The SFC was concerned about the adequacy of the company’s due diligence, training of sales staff, risk assessment, and record-keeping in relation to the minibonds. The company agreed the concerns were serious.

One question now is whether such shortcomings were prevalent at other institutions that sold the minibonds, mostly banks. It seems unlikely that the SFC’s investigations will find that this is an isolated case.

Another question is whether institutions whose clients make up a higher proportion of the 47,000 investors in HK$15.7 billion of minibonds will be as willing to settle their losses in full.

The SFC does not have the power to impose a settlement. But by publishing the results of its investigations, it does have the power to exercise some moral persuasion. If other institutions find that the concerns in this case have some application to them, they may conclude that the example of Sun Hung Kai is a better way to conclude the affair than dragging it out. It is significant that in announcing the settlement, the SFC dodged the issue of whether claims of mis-selling of the minibonds as low-risk investment products have been substantiated, and Sun Hung Kai admitted no liability or wrongdoing. The terms of the settlement sets a rather appealing precedent for other institutions that are eager to put the matter behind them quickly. Every situation is different, however, so the terms of any settlement could depend on the extent and seriousness of any misconduct. Whatever the terms for each case may be, it is important, and only fair, that even where banks reach settlements with their clients, the SFC will still insist on disclosure of any concerns arising from its investigations.

The financial secretary has called for a review of regulations after receiving reports on the minibond affair from the SFC and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, which regulates banks. For the sake of confidence in our financial system, the government must move swiftly to enhance investor protection without stifling a free market.
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 10:08 AM

Ah Hai
24-01-2009, 10:42 PM
Saturday, January 24, 2009
SCMP:Sun Hung Kai Financial may lose 'caring' award over minibond saga
24 Jan 2009
Ambrose Leung

Sun Hung Kai Financial may be the first of several financial institutions to lose an award that honours their corporate social responsibility as a result of their involvement in the minibonds saga.

The Council of Social Service, which confers the annual Caring Company awards, is reviewing its decision to give the award to Sun Hung Kai, after its subsidiary Sun Hung Kai Investment Services was reprimanded by the Securities and Futures Commission for the way it sold the high-risk derivatives to customers.

Sun Hung Kai and more than a dozen banks accused of misleading vulnerable investors are understood to be among the winners who will be unveiled and honoured next month.

Cliff Choi Kim-wah, business director of the council, said the vetting committee would meet soon.

“Those being awarded know well that we reserve the right to strip them of their titles,” he said. A spokesman for Sun Hung Kai Financial declined to comment.

Christine Fang Meng-sang, chief executive of the council, said it was prepared to withdraw the honours if the banks were officially censured by relevant authorities, or if they were found to have committed criminal offences.

“We have received e-mails from some minibonds victims who were unhappy with the banks getting the award,” she said.

Any wrongdoing by the banks, however, could not wipe out the charitable work that they had done, she noted.

“ We can’t strike them off the award list just because people are protesting outside their branches. But we are prepared to review their awards if any of them is found by the authorities to have done wrong,” Ms Fang said.

The council will give out more than 1,700 awards this year to businesses and public organisations for demonstrating good corporate citizenship and their contributions in community work.

Among the 60-plus banks that were honoured last year, more than a dozen – including the Bank of China, DBS Bank and the Bank of East Asia – now face thousands of angry investors who are seeking compensation for their losses after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, which had issued or guaranteed the minibonds they bought.

Investors, some of them elderly, claimed the banks had lied about the investment risks when persuading them to buy the highly complex products. Many of them have filed complaints with the Monetary Authority, made police reports or resorted to the courts to seek redress.

Since the scheme was launched seven years ago, only one company has had its award withdrawn. No company with a criminal record or which has been officially censured by astatutory body in the previous three years can receive an award.

Lawmakers who are helping the minibond investors seek redress were outraged. Democrat Kam Naiwai said the council should rethink its awards plan.

“ How can these banks be so shameless and still have the guts to brandish the ‘caring company’ tag after conning old people into buying their poisoned minibonds?”

Audrey Eu Yuet-mee, leader of the Civic Party, said: “It is so ironic that the basics of a caring company, which is to care for the customers, are not reflected in the awards, while it recognises contributions to the environment and donations to charities.”

The Bank of China, Bank of East Asia and DBS all said their awards this year had nothing to do with the minibonds saga.
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 6:48 PM

Ah Hai
25-01-2009, 04:55 AM
Sunday, January 25, 2009
2009 - the year of the Bull
In 1985, when Singapore was in a recession, I presented a bull sculpture to Mr. Lee Hsien Loong, who was then the Minister of State for Trade & Industry. I said "I hope that the bull will revive the stockmarket and the economy. " It did!

2009 is the year of the Bull. I hope that someone will send another bull sculpture to the Prime Minister.
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 10:11 AM
2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Mr Tan,why should someone, pls you send one bull to PM.

Happy New Year & Gong Xi Fa Cai Mr Ran
January 25, 2009 12:02 PM
Tan Kin Lian said...

I already gave away my bull. Now, someone else can find another bull to give to PM. Happy New Year.
January 25, 2009 12:45 PM

Ah Hai
25-01-2009, 04:56 AM
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Forum, Sat 7 Feb 2009 (afternoon)
I have agreed to speak at a forum to be held in the afternoon of Sat 7 Feb 2009. The topic is on "Challenges that alternative parties have to face". Details of venue and time will be announced later. I hope that some of my regular visitors will attend this forum.
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 12:25 PM 0 comments

Ah Hai
26-01-2009, 10:57 PM
5 Comments


Anonymous Wilson said...

Mr. Tan, could you eleborate what "alternative parties" means? And how long is your speech going to last?

January 25, 2009 1:28 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Mr. Tan,

What is meant by "alternative parties"? Are you refering to political parties, counterparties?

January 25, 2009 3:01 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr Tan
Do you want the minibond investors to be there?

January 26, 2009 12:54 AM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Mr.Tan is seriously considering to join the fray into polictical arena now.Good try,I shall vote for you,please come to my Jurong GRC,thanks

a retiree

January 26, 2009 9:07 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr Tan,

Are you going to form an alernative party? You have the numbers already? You have the solutions to deal with the challenges already?

If yes to all, then very good. You have my one vote.

January 27, 2009 12:34 AM

Ah Hai
27-01-2009, 12:54 AM
NEW YORK - AMERICA International Group Inc has received bids from several sovereign wealth funds, including ones from Singapore, China and the Middle East, for its aircraft leasing unit, people familiar with the matter said on Monday.

Initial bidders for the unit, International Lease Finance Corp, include Singapore's Temasek Holdings Pte Ltd, Dubai's investment arm Istithmar World, Kuwait Investment Authority and China Investment Corp, the sources said.

Initial bidders also included private equity firms Carlyle Group, TPG Capital LP and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co, the sources said.

The parties are in talks to form consortiums to bid for the unit, one of the largest aircraft leasing companies in the world, as they grapple with issues about funding the purchase, the sources said.

Analysts have said the business could be worth as much as $8 billion.

The timeline of the bidding process is not clear, but one source said the second round of bids could come in the third week of February.

Talks include the possibility of asking the US government to help with long-term funding, a source said.

AIG declined to comment. -- THOMSON REUTERS

Ah Hai
28-01-2009, 02:22 AM
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Unjustified Jump in Food Prices during Chinese New Year Season
Dear Mr Tan,

I hope you can post the below link on your blog.
I tried surfing CASE website but then it seems quite troublesome for an individual to lodge a complaint.
I perhaps need some guidance or education on the process.

Loh Hon Chun
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 12:34 AM

Ah Hai
28-01-2009, 02:23 AM
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Tan Kin Lian's Intelligence Quiz
Download

The famous scientist, Albert Einstein, was reported to have created a puzzle involving 5 houses in different colours, occupied by five different nationalities, drinking different beverages, keeping different pets and smoking different brands of tobacco.

It took me half an hour to solve the puzzle. I found it fascinating. I searched the bookstores for a book containing many puzzles of the same type. There was none.

I finally decided to publish a book containing many puzzles, with different degrees of difficulty.

When I introduced the puzzle to children and adults, they were fascinated with it. Parents will find the puzzles to be excellent for training their children on logical thinking.

In the next few pages, you will find sample of the puzzles in the Tan Kin Lian’s Intelligence Quiz. The answers are at the last page.

The book of puzzles will be available in the bookstores in February. Retail price: $7.90.

The quizzes are identified according to the following levels of difficulty:

Easy (4 houses with 4 parameters)
Moderate (5 houses with 5 parameters)
Difficult (6 houses with 6 parameters)

If you wish to order 5 copies of more of the book at a special price of $5 per book, you can send your order to [email protected] Postage is free for delivery within Singapore. Payment will be by credit card or PayPal.

I am able to print a unique edition of the puzzles for corporations wishing to provide this book of puzzles to their clients.

Tan Kin Lian


Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 9:59 AM

Ah Hai
29-01-2009, 12:40 AM
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Spanish bank offers full compensation to its clients
Perhaps our financial institutions should consider this Spanish Bank's gesture to their valued clients?

"Wednesday, 28 January 2009 12:03

Spain's largest bank, Santander, is to offer full compensation worth more than US$1.8 billion (€1.4 billion) to clients who lost money in an investment fraud allegedly run by the US financier Bernard Madoff. The compensation scheme covers only private individual clients.

'The group has taken this decision given the exceptional circumstances surrounding this case and based exclusively on commercial reasons, given the interest it has in maintaining its business relationship with these clients,' the bank said in a statement.' "

A BBC financial commentator said he was not surprised since the bank's reputation and relationship with client should be worth more than the US$1.8 billion. He expected other banks to follow suit or they will lose their valued clients to Santander. :oIo:
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 7:44 AM

Ah Hai
29-01-2009, 12:41 AM
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Give your views on budget 2009

Give your views
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 8:12 AM

Ah Hai
30-01-2009, 04:41 AM
Read the survey results.
Survey results.

The average rating from 56 respondents are:
a) The budget is good for business (rating 3.73)
b) The general election will be called in 2009 (rating 2.82)
c) The average rating for the other questions are lower than 2.82.

A rating of 3.0 is neutral. A rating below 3 indicates that more people disagree with the statement, compared to those who agree.

On the whole, the respondents are less confident about the benefit of the budget for the people, in saving jobs, in spurring economic recovery or helping the unemployed. There is also a negative level of confidence in the leaders.

The lowest ratings are given by people above 50 and by the unemployed/retired.

Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 11:00 PM
3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nothing comes for free.

Be prepared for a significant fall in the value of the Singapore dollar.
January 30, 2009 8:12 AM
C H Yak said...

I believe the sampling of this survey is representative of the population, due to the nature of this survey and data collection. At a cursory glance, survey results should be highly reflective.

The results indicates that it is too business-centric.

The general public do not expect much from the budget personally.

Despite being radical in approach and presentation, whether the Budget actually helps the average Singaporean to keep his job remains to be tested. At this point, it is still only theory.

From my real experience, foreign MNC are seldom buy-in by the Government's selling of healthy tripartism amongst Government, Employers & Union (workers). When they need to retrench, they will retrench. Whether or not there is a CPF cut, or indirect Government subsidy of wages through training grants, this is immaterial. Even retrenchment benifits would still be an issue due to unclear legislations. Whether employment contracts cater for this is highly dependent of respective HR practices.
January 30, 2009 10:55 AM
SB said...

Lim Swee Say as head of the workers movement must robustly champion the workers' interest within the tripartite. In what is supposed to be a rescue package ultimately for the benefit of workers and the people of Singapore, it turns out that companies turn out to be the main direct beneficiary getting the lion's share of the $20.5 billion help package. As sure as the sun rises, companies will still fold, workers will still lose jobs or suffer pay cuts. To these workers, the money which will go to the companies will have no benefit to them.

Not by any measure is he, as supposedly the workers' champion, justified to declare full satisfaction with the direct allocation to workers and to those who will be retrenched. Why didn't he tell the public that he had fought for a bigger direct share for the workers, even if he failed to get his bosses, oops I mean the other members of the tripartite, to change their minds.

Do you notice that with all the distractions of the recession and the help budget, the govt. has opportunistically sneaked in an increase of almost $1000 million to the security (defence and home affairs) budgets, bringing the Defence and Home Affairs Budgets to historical highs of over $11.4 billion and $3 billion respectively. This is one of the real reasons (quietly though) why our past reserves have to be used for this year's budget.

The Defence spendings tower above every other budgetary spendings. This, despite the gloomy outlook for the next 24 months or more. Money should be conserved (and channeled to fund more direct people-help programs, say, for retrenchment benefits). Some military spendings could surely be postponed or paced out until better days come back. It is not as though we are under-invested in defence. After years and decades of heavy military spendings, we have as of now already the most invested and equipped armed forces than the rest of ASEAN combined. That betrays the under-emphasis on real care and focus this govt has on people-related needs vs. growth and power.



The rating of “best” for this Budget is I think mainly based on the huge total amount of help programs. But if you look at the measurable benefits that will land in the hands of Singaporeans, then “best” is somewhat an overstatement. Let me say why:

1. The direct help for individuals & households amount to less than 13% ($2.6 billion) of the total. 66% ($13.5 billion) is given directly to companies. Past reserves are accumulated savings and wealth of the nation and hence of its citizens. If the reserve vault is to be opened, the direct benefits should be skewed for more to go to them instead of to companies. The $2.6 billion allocated represent only a modest increase over similar (such as GST refund, Workfare) 2008’s pre-recession and pre-hyperinflation help-budget. The stated justification for the huge allocation to companies is that individuals will be the beneficiaries of the help programs through jobs saved. The problem is the extent of leakages in this flow-down effect to individuals as huge number of jobs in aggregate is still projected to be lost despite these help programs.

2. Citizens are subject to various forms of means testing for programs such as the hospitalisation subsidies and share of workfare payouts. On the other hand the Job Credit program gives money from our reserves to all employers, regardless of whether they are financially strong or weak, big or small, earning big profits or suffering losses. If we citizens are subject to means testing, why is the govt. so generous without setting criteria to pre-qualify companies to be entitled to this particular. Banks, large property developers, large GLCs, most MNCs and govt ministries do not deserve nor need this financial subsidy to continue to be viable. Public reserves should not be used to enrich private enterprises, particularly the healthy ones. Mind you, these companies have logged in bonaza profits in the past years, and even if they will performance not as well in the near future, they will still make reasonable profits without Job Credit program.

Companies drawing on wage subsidies are not obligated to refrain from cutting jobs, cut pay or put employees on no-pay leave, if down-sizing is needed to ensure survival. So reserve money will drawn down and many workers will still get fired as the recession spreads and intensifies. If there is some form of means testing on companies, money saved can be used instead for another program to help individuals directly, say, for the retrenched whose jobs are not saved or the retired/aged with little income or have fixed income and are weighed down by the increased cost of living from last year’s inflation.

3. Even without the benefit of the Job Credit program for these healthy companies, the other numerous programs, taxes cuts/rebates and training subsidies/allowances, are still available to them and all other companies.

4. The bottom line is that although the help programs are declared to be ultimately to help the citizens by saving jobs, individuals will actually be getting the much shorter end of the $20.5 billion. More could also be done to help ease their cash-flow tightness, for example waiving or reducing GST on essential goods and services at least during these hard times or allow a small portion of a retrenched worker’s CPF savings to be withdrawn to tide him over while he seeks for new employment (by the way CPF is the worker’s own money and not even a subsidy).

That’s why I think this pro-company help-budget falls short of being BEST because it under-performs for the individuals.
January 30, 2009 12:40 PM

Ah Hai
30-01-2009, 04:43 AM
Friday, January 30, 2009
Budget 2009 is not pro-people
Comment by SB on the survey results for Budget 2009

Lim Swee Say as head of the workers movement must robustly champion the workers' interest within the tripartite. In what is supposed to be a rescue package ultimately for the benefit of workers and the people of Singapore, it turns out that companies turn out to be the main direct beneficiary getting the lion's share of the $20.5 billion help package. As sure as the sun rises, companies will still fold, workers will still lose jobs or suffer pay cuts. To these workers, the money which will go to the companies will have no benefit to them.

Not by any measure is he, as supposedly the workers' champion, justified to declare full satisfaction with the direct allocation to workers and to those who will be retrenched. Why didn't he tell the public that he had fought for a bigger direct share for the workers, even if he failed to get his bosses, oops I mean the other members of the tripartite, to change their minds.

Do you notice that with all the distractions of the recession and the help budget, the govt. has opportunistically sneaked in an increase of almost $1000 million to the security (defence and home affairs) budgets, bringing the Defence and Home Affairs Budgets to historical highs of over $11.4 billion and $3 billion respectively. This is one of the real reasons (quietly though) why our past reserves have to be used for this year's budget.

The Defence spendings tower above every other budgetary spendings. This, despite the gloomy outlook for the next 24 months or more. Money should be conserved (and channeled to fund more direct people-help programs, say, for retrenchment benefits). Some military spendings could surely be postponed or paced out until better days come back. It is not as though we are under-invested in defence. After years and decades of heavy military spendings, we have as of now already the most invested and equipped armed forces than the rest of ASEAN combined. That betrays the under-emphasis on real care and focus this govt has on people-related needs vs. growth and power.

The rating of “best” for this Budget is I think mainly based on the huge total amount of help programs. But if you look at the measurable benefits that will land in the hands of Singaporeans, then “best” is somewhat an overstatement. Let me say why:

1. The direct help for individuals & households amount to less than 13% ($2.6 billion) of the total. 66% ($13.5 billion) is given directly to companies. Past reserves are accumulated savings and wealth of the nation and hence of its citizens. If the reserve vault is to be opened, the direct benefits should be skewed for more to go to them instead of to companies. The $2.6 billion allocated represent only a modest increase over similar (such as GST refund, Workfare) 2008’s pre-recession and pre-hyperinflation help-budget. The stated justification for the huge allocation to companies is that individuals will be the beneficiaries of the help programs through jobs saved. The problem is the extent of leakages in this flow-down effect to individuals as huge number of jobs in aggregate is still projected to be lost despite these help programs.

2. Citizens are subject to various forms of means testing for programs such as the hospitalisation subsidies and share of workfare payouts. On the other hand the Job Credit program gives money from our reserves to all employers, regardless of whether they are financially strong or weak, big or small, earning big profits or suffering losses. If we citizens are subject to means testing, why is the govt. so generous without setting criteria to pre-qualify companies to be entitled to this particular. Banks, large property developers, large GLCs, most MNCs and govt ministries do not deserve nor need this financial subsidy to continue to be viable. Public reserves should not be used to enrich private enterprises, particularly the healthy ones. Mind you, these companies have logged in bonaza profits in the past years, and even if they will performance not as well in the near future, they will still make reasonable profits without Job Credit program.

Companies drawing on wage subsidies are not obligated to refrain from cutting jobs, cut pay or put employees on no-pay leave, if down-sizing is needed to ensure survival. So reserve money will drawn down and many workers will still get fired as the recession spreads and intensifies. If there is some form of means testing on companies, money saved can be used instead for another program to help individuals directly, say, for the retrenched whose jobs are not saved or the retired/aged with little income or have fixed income and are weighed down by the increased cost of living from last year’s inflation.

3. Even without the benefit of the Job Credit program for these healthy companies, the other numerous programs, taxes cuts/rebates and training subsidies/allowances, are still available to them and all other companies.

4. The bottom line is that although the help programs are declared to be ultimately to help the citizens by saving jobs, individuals will actually be getting the much shorter end of the $20.5 billion. More could also be done to help ease their cash-flow tightness, for example waiving or reducing GST on essential goods and services at least during these hard times or allow a small portion of a retrenched worker’s CPF savings to be withdrawn to tide him over while he seeks for new employment (by the way CPF is the worker’s own money and not even a subsidy).

That’s why I think this pro-company help-budget falls short of being BEST because it under-performs for the individuals.

Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 1:29 PM

Ah Hai
30-01-2009, 04:45 AM
A voice from the generation of the 40s/50s
Dear Kin Lian,

I am inspired by your exemplary mission to help redress injustice and rectify wrong public policies that are detrimental to nation building and also oppressive to the poor and average Singaporeans.

I appeal to you to raise awareness of the pride of aged Singaporeans who have toiled thick and thin with the PAP to build Singapore over the last 50 years. Now these senior citizens are left with little welfare from the state which they had sacrificed so much to help build Singapore to a first world economy. Instead they were told to work as long as they can, not because they like to, but because they have to bring in extra income to support a decent "golden" lifestyle. They are so afraid to fall sick because hospitalization and wipe out their hard earned savings and put extra burden on their struggling children.

I am living in Australia and I am a retiree at 62. I observe how seniors are being looked after by the government here. They enjoyed adequate basic welfare and excellent aged care support, especially for those who are disabled and sick.

Citizens who served in the Australian military received special treatment when they retired. They enjoyed pension, medical care and recreational facilities.

The argument that we are not a welfare state is an excuse. This is NOT about lavish welfare spending to make people laid back. This is about a nation and a society that values GRATITUDE, paying back to the senior citizens and NS personnel who have sacrificed so much to help build the nation so that Ministers can afford to be paid million dollar salaries.

What do NS personnel receive when they grow old after giving their best 20-25 years after enlistment? Struggling to raise a humble family, they have to worry when they grow old and if they are unfortunate to be struck down by illness. Where is the motivation for National Service when the State does not look after them when they become old, sick and frail?

I hope you can devote a little of your time to raise awareness of the political elite to come to term with the type of society we really want to nurture. Where would our younger generation learn the value of GRATITUDE when the government's role model is just meritocracy, survival for the fittest and the ruthless pursuit of economic success. Can we not be 1st in everything and be first in a gracious and caring society?

TS (Teck Suan) Low
NSW
Australia
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 4:23 PM
5 comments:

C H Yak said...

I tend to agree with the writer that those borned in the 50s and early 60s (baby-bloomers) are often made the scapegoats and guinea pigs of our past and future public policies.

This group is often neglected.

Our demographic trend would suggest that this "large" group is approaching age of 50 and above.

As can be noted from the previous downturn, this was the group of workers "above 40" which NTUC even taken and termed as "unproductive".

As this group peaked in demographic trend, they are often made the scapegoat of policies. A simple illustration, when Singapore was poorer, and this group was serving national service, the choice of night snack was really between green or red bean soup, or bread with kaya left over from breakdfast. Today, our NSmen have many options. We had to pass fitness tests without rewards or faced extra PT & punishment. Now NSmen are given monetary rewards and even shorter service stink.

CPF & HDB housing policies were highly restrictive. But with the CPF saving, there was a cheap source of fund for Singapore's development.

Certainly this group would deserve their fair share of attention for their past sacrifices with slightly more benefits and support, and not to be taken for granted again for more blunt government policies.

We need radical "CHANGE" to cater for the inetrest of this group as they had sacrificed much in the past due to slow incremental approach adopted by the Government to put forth and test-run policies due to limited budgetary resources and national reserves.

The Government has milked the cash cows, and should consider the "pay-back" method to help this group more.
January 29, 2009 5:12 PM
Anonymous said...

Jerry said,
I envy TS Low welfare compared to mine although we are of the same age. Age 62 is considered over the hills here, when and unable to enjoy my golden yrs. we have to fend for ourself except to rely on whatever savings that will sure run dry one day! Imagine the old people featured in the newpaper selling tissue papers to pay for their medical cost etc...Live is great for retirees in a continent of compared to an island state.....living like Robin Crusoe....taking one day at a time!
January 29, 2009 10:19 PM
Anonymous said...

The worst is yet to come.

The details of Singapore's national reserves are not published. However given the global financial meltdown, the losses probably range from by 25 to 50%.

The recent budget announcement suggests a sale of some of these assets to pay for the goodies.

This in turn suggest an impending fall in the value of the Singapore dollar.

From a policy perspective, this makes sense since it will make Singapore more cost competitive. Given the collapse of oil and commodity prices, inflation is obviously not a policy issue at the moment.

The LOSERS of course will be those with significant Sing dollar assets. If you are lucky enough to escape Singapore, you might want to consider diversifying across a basket of foreign currency deposits to preserve the international purchasing power of your hard earned savings.
January 30, 2009 8:10 AM
Concerned said...

Quote "when the government's role model is just meritocracy, survival for the fittest and the ruthless pursuit of economic success. Can we not be 1st in everything and be first in a gracious and caring society"
Yes, what profits a man if you has gain the whole world, but loses his soul.
January 30, 2009 12:10 PM
Anonymous said...

Hi,
I am in my late 30s and the funny part is I still have reservist training. On top of that I still have to go for remedial training if I fail my IPPT. I have to go for twenty sessions of night training for two months after my work. If I happen to take MC the next day, my boss and colleagues won't appreciate my commitment to NS. What to do?!
January 30, 2009 1:04 PM

Ah Hai
30-01-2009, 04:46 AM
Thursday, January 29, 2009
DBS CEO has cancer
Jan 29, 2009
SINGAPORE'S DBS Group , Southeast Asia's biggest bank, said on Thursday that Chief Executive Richard Stanley, who was hired in May last year, is suffering from leukemia. Koh Boon Hwee, the bank's chairman, will take charge of the bank during Stanley's three to six months' absence for medical treatment, the bank said in a statement.

DBS shares were suspended from trading on Thursday morning before the announcement and resumed trade around 11.30am. By 11.35am, DBS shares were down 0.8 per cent at $5.17, underperforming a decline of 0.3 per cent in the benchmark Straits Times Index .
Mr Stanley, 48, was hired last year from Citigroup with an aim to expand the bank's reach beyond its two core markets, Singapore and Hong Kong.

The bank said Mr Stanley has been diagnosed with 'acute myelogenous leukemia' and has started undergoing medical treatment in Singapore.

A surgeon at a Singapore hospital, who declined to be named because he is not authorised to speak to the media, told Reuters that acute myelogenous leukemia is a fast-spreading cancer of the blood that requires immediate chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant at a later date.

Analysts said the bank's strategy would not change during Stanley's absence because DBS was in defensive posture amid a global economic downturn.

'If he is out of action, then the critical decisions will be delayed until his situation stabilises or DBS finds an alternative,' said David Lum, an analyst at Daiwa Institute of Research.

The bank said Mr Stanley sought treatment for what appeared to be ordinary flu-like symptoms on Monday after experiencing a cough and high fever during the Lunar New Year weekend.

He was hospitalised the following day and his medical condition was confirmed this morning, the bank said, adding that Mr Stanley's illness is treatable.

DBS reports its fourth-quarter results on Feb 13. -- THOMSON REUTERS

Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 4:33 PM
6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Why so many people suffer from cancer? It is incurable.

Jasmin
January 29, 2009 5:00 PM
Victor said...

I am sorry the poison got him.
January 29, 2009 11:04 PM
Anonymous said...

The fact that DBS traded up +11c immediately after the announcement speaks ill for this angmo. He chopped off 900 jobs and now facing retribution. Nobody welcome him back after 6mth.
January 29, 2009 11:56 PM
Anonymous said...

Perhaps MOH should do a survey to see the eating pattern of these people. For example, where does Richard go for his lunch and dinner in Singapore? What kind of food does he usually take? This may give a clue why he is suffering from this sickness now.
January 30, 2009 2:54 AM
Anonymous said...

I wish he take this chance to rethink the meaning of money. There are sure many things more important than money. To have health, be honest, kind, fair, willing to help others.

I prey for him and wish he can be a new guy after recovery.
January 30, 2009 11:55 AM
Anonymous said...

so sudden.
Did this CEO declear his health problem last year when he was employed by DBS?
January 30, 2009 12:16 PM

Ah Hai
30-01-2009, 04:48 AM
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Letter from the grave
Read this letter from an assassinated journalist
Letter from the grave
People often ask me why I take such risks and tell me it is a matter of time before I am bumped off. Of course I know that: it is inevitable. But if we do not speak out now, there will be no one left to speak for those who cannot, whether they be ethnic minorities, the disadvantaged or the persecuted.
An example that has inspired me throughout my career in journalism has been that of the German theologian, Martin Niemoller. In his youth he was an anti-Semite and an admirer of Hitler. As Nazism took hold in Germany, however, he saw Nazism for what it was: it was not just the Jews Hitler sought to extirpate, it was just about anyone with an alternate point of view.
Niemoller spoke out, and for his trouble was incarcerated in the Sachsenhausen and Dachau concentration camps from 1937 to 1945, and very nearly executed. While incarcerated, Niemoller wrote a poem that, from the first time I read it in my teenage years, stuck hauntingly in my mind:
First they came for the Jews
and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the Communists
and I did not speak out because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists
and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me.
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 9:30 PM
2 comments:

Anonymous said...

It reminds me of what Dr. Lee Wei Ling when she wrote about omission of guilt. If we see wrong doings and do not condemn them we are actually abetting in the commission of the wrongs.We are as guilty as they who committed.
I take my hats off to you, Mr. Tan, for championing the weak and bullied. I guess you don't want to speak from the grave. In the grave should be the insurance agents , the RMs and FIs who pilfered the poor of their hard earned saving. It is this lot of conscieceless , greedy salespeople whom we must expose their crime even we put our life in danger.
Mr. Tan , I hope the FISCA that you wish to form will soon take shape so that we can expose the insurance agents, the RMs and the insurance companies and the banks.
January 29, 2009 10:48 PM
Singapore Kopitiam - Voices of Singaporeans said...

Hi Mr Tan:

Lasantha Wickramatunga’s editorial before his assassination was posted on Singapore Kopitiam half a month before this entry:
http://forums.delphiforums.com/sunkopitiam/messages?msg=19056.1

Just to share with you.

Regards,
Victor Sun
Singapore Kopitiam - Voices of Singaporeans
http://forums.delphiforums.com/sunkopitiam
January 30, 2009 8:55 AM

Ah Hai
30-01-2009, 04:50 AM
Friday, January 30, 2009
Budget 2009 is not pro-people
Comment by SB on the survey results for Budget 2009

Lim Swee Say as head of the workers movement must robustly champion the workers' interest within the tripartite. In what is supposed to be a rescue package ultimately for the benefit of workers and the people of Singapore, it turns out that companies turn out to be the main direct beneficiary getting the lion's share of the $20.5 billion help package. As sure as the sun rises, companies will still fold, workers will still lose jobs or suffer pay cuts. To these workers, the money which will go to the companies will have no benefit to them.

Not by any measure is he, as supposedly the workers' champion, justified to declare full satisfaction with the direct allocation to workers and to those who will be retrenched. Why didn't he tell the public that he had fought for a bigger direct share for the workers, even if he failed to get his bosses, oops I mean the other members of the tripartite, to change their minds.

Do you notice that with all the distractions of the recession and the help budget, the govt. has opportunistically sneaked in an increase of almost $1000 million to the security (defence and home affairs) budgets, bringing the Defence and Home Affairs Budgets to historical highs of over $11.4 billion and $3 billion respectively. This is one of the real reasons (quietly though) why our past reserves have to be used for this year's budget.

The Defence spendings tower above every other budgetary spendings. This, despite the gloomy outlook for the next 24 months or more. Money should be conserved (and channeled to fund more direct people-help programs, say, for retrenchment benefits). Some military spendings could surely be postponed or paced out until better days come back. It is not as though we are under-invested in defence. After years and decades of heavy military spendings, we have as of now already the most invested and equipped armed forces than the rest of ASEAN combined. That betrays the under-emphasis on real care and focus this govt has on people-related needs vs. growth and power.

The rating of “best” for this Budget is I think mainly based on the huge total amount of help programs. But if you look at the measurable benefits that will land in the hands of Singaporeans, then “best” is somewhat an overstatement. Let me say why:

1. The direct help for individuals & households amount to less than 13% ($2.6 billion) of the total. 66% ($13.5 billion) is given directly to companies. Past reserves are accumulated savings and wealth of the nation and hence of its citizens. If the reserve vault is to be opened, the direct benefits should be skewed for more to go to them instead of to companies. The $2.6 billion allocated represent only a modest increase over similar (such as GST refund, Workfare) 2008’s pre-recession and pre-hyperinflation help-budget. The stated justification for the huge allocation to companies is that individuals will be the beneficiaries of the help programs through jobs saved. The problem is the extent of leakages in this flow-down effect to individuals as huge number of jobs in aggregate is still projected to be lost despite these help programs.

2. Citizens are subject to various forms of means testing for programs such as the hospitalisation subsidies and share of workfare payouts. On the other hand the Job Credit program gives money from our reserves to all employers, regardless of whether they are financially strong or weak, big or small, earning big profits or suffering losses. If we citizens are subject to means testing, why is the govt. so generous without setting criteria to pre-qualify companies to be entitled to this particular. Banks, large property developers, large GLCs, most MNCs and govt ministries do not deserve nor need this financial subsidy to continue to be viable. Public reserves should not be used to enrich private enterprises, particularly the healthy ones. Mind you, these companies have logged in bonaza profits in the past years, and even if they will performance not as well in the near future, they will still make reasonable profits without Job Credit program.

Companies drawing on wage subsidies are not obligated to refrain from cutting jobs, cut pay or put employees on no-pay leave, if down-sizing is needed to ensure survival. So reserve money will drawn down and many workers will still get fired as the recession spreads and intensifies. If there is some form of means testing on companies, money saved can be used instead for another program to help individuals directly, say, for the retrenched whose jobs are not saved or the retired/aged with little income or have fixed income and are weighed down by the increased cost of living from last year’s inflation.

3. Even without the benefit of the Job Credit program for these healthy companies, the other numerous programs, taxes cuts/rebates and training subsidies/allowances, are still available to them and all other companies.

4. The bottom line is that although the help programs are declared to be ultimately to help the citizens by saving jobs, individuals will actually be getting the much shorter end of the $20.5 billion. More could also be done to help ease their cash-flow tightness, for example waiving or reducing GST on essential goods and services at least during these hard times or allow a small portion of a retrenched worker’s CPF savings to be withdrawn to tide him over while he seeks for new employment (by the way CPF is the worker’s own money and not even a subsidy).

That’s why I think this pro-company help-budget falls short of being BEST because it under-performs for the individuals.

Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 1:29 PM

Ah Hai
30-01-2009, 11:15 PM
Saturday, January 31, 2009
Survey: An active Parliament
Is it good for Singapore to have an active Parliament where policies are actively debated? Give your views in this Survey
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 11:30 PM
Labels: Survey

Ah Hai
01-02-2009, 12:25 AM
WASHINGTON : A New York law firm announced Saturday it had filed a class action complaint in US court against the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) for allegedly issuing false statements that exposed shareholders to risky sub-prime loans.

The law firm Murray, Frank & Sailer said it was acting on behalf of shareholders over two separate public offerings made in May 2006 and September 2007.

The shares closed at 5.00 and 5.70 dollars Friday, a fraction of their original offering price of 25 dollars.

The lawyers said RBS "failed to disclose risks that RBS's exposure to the sub-prime mortgage market was understated," that "RBS would be forced to take write-downs" that "would substantially decrease RBS's capital levels," which "would force RBS to accept a bailout by the British government."

RBS is now 70 percent owned by the British government. The bank has forecast it would make a British corporate record annual loss of up to 28 billion pounds (41 billion dollars).

- AFP /ls

Ah Hai
02-02-2009, 08:18 AM
Sunday, February 01, 2009
Distribution cost of life insurance policy
Dear Mr. Tan,
I read your survey about "life insurance policy". I bought a policy a few months ago, and the agent did not tell me about the distribution cost. I am now aware about it, after reading the survey results. I feel cheated that such a high cost (representing nearly two years of my savings) was not brough to my attention, although it is printed in the many pages of the benefit illustration. Can I seek a recourse now?

REPLY
It is the duty of the insurance agent to disclose to you about the distribution cost of the life insurance policy that you have bought.

If it is not brought to your attention, I suggest that you should make a complaint to the insurance company and request that the policy be cancelled for a full refund. If the company does not agree, you can lodge a complaint with FIDReC (www.fidrec.org.sg).

You should look at the amount of the distribution cost. If it is a few hundred dollars, it is a fair remuneration to the insurance agents, in which case, you should not make the complaint. However, if it is $1,000 or more, you can make the complaint.


Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 5:48 PM
Labels: Insurance
5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Concealment of facts is mis-selling intended to mislead you into buying and therefore it has breached the FAA law. You are entitled to full refund.
Buyers should also ask for the return of the cash value in term of rate of return and the protection on dollar per $1000 sum assured, the commission the agent earns from selling you the product.
All buyers should take note of this fact below.
All whole life products in the market give very poor return and protection. Reason is the cost of the product has gone up enormously . This includes the CEO's high salary and the senior management and the insurance agents' commission. High cost means low return and protection. If there are any frills or supplementary benefits they are thrown in to hide and cover up the poor core benefits which actually you should be looking at.So, don't be fooled by the many benefits which are cheap 'riders' to bullshit you and to distract you from the main core issue.
Be careful.
February 01, 2009 7:13 PM
Anonymous said...

Another fact buyers of whole life must take note is the increased risk of whole life product. The recent restructuring of the bonus by NTUC is an example of cutting of annual bonus to free up more money for investing or gambling whichever you want to look at. The insurance company is gambling with your money in the 'hope' of giving you more return which may or may not happen. This uncertainty is called RISK.
How do the insurance agents explain to you? Do they mention that risk is increased? or They still say it is the same and guaranteed. If they don't reveal that risk has gone up it is suppressing material fact which is important to you. If they tell you no risk they are lying and misrepresenting the product. All this is cheating you into buying and it is breaching section 27 of the FAA and it is a crime punishable by fine and jail.
Remember your consumers' right of fair dealing and beware of insurance agents pushing products using such ruse. Trust no one and ask as many questions and be prepared to report them to authority.
February 01, 2009 7:49 PM
Anonymous said...

Ask for a refund from the company and same time complain to MAS otherwise it thinks everything is going well in this sector. No complaint doesn't mean no victims, no aggrieved policyholders or the insurance agents are well behaved.
In fact, the fact is every insurance agent commits mis-selling one time or another and it is almost the norm to commit misconduct.
February 01, 2009 10:22 PM
Anonymous said...

NTUC recently launched a new endowment/annuity product called the SAIL. The review in the Sunday Times by Lorna has been too generous.It is understandable. It only mentioned the risk without elaborating how risky it is ; the truth is the longer the lock in period the riskier it is.
Be careful. It is a very risky product. Please make the agent disclose the risk to you during the accumulation period and the payout period.
Please note that there is no minimum guarantee after the 10 years. In other words, it is completely uncertain and it is left to the insurer to declare anyhting they want.All figures are projected and if there is a guaranteed like in the first 10 years it is ONLY 1.6% and the rest of the return is uncertain.
The projected return for 10 years is 4.1; 1.6% guaranteed and 2.5% non guaranteed or more correctly 60% of the return is non guaranteed.
So , what is the riskiness of this product in the accumulation period?
The longer the accumulation period the riskier it is.
What about the payout period?
The riskiness is lower but it is about 45% of the return or more.In other words the payouts can vary drastically or roller coastering.
All these have to be disclosed by the agents.
Another downside of the product is
, it makes no sense at all for a 35 year old person or younger to take so much risk to earn so little as 4.5%. With a time horizon of 20 to 30 years earning 6% and above is so easy as ABC and with similar risk or lower.
Of course, you should engage a qualified adviser or planner and not insurance agents or product pushing agents disguised as consultants.
Remember, don't be fooled or else you hand up like the minibomb saga alleging mis-selling.

pro consumer product reviewer
February 02, 2009 12:31 AM
Anonymous said...

Report them to authority? Hundreds of thousands of policyholders are now hurting because NTUC Income changed the rules of the game decades after policyholders have bought their policies. All those projections are no longer valid since they unilaterally cut the annual bonus in the name of giving you better returns. Even fools know that cannot be true. All the NTUC ministers are aware of the many complaints. Fidrec have also received complaints. MAS have also received complaints. What did they do? When Mr Tan KL attended the AGM last year, they unleashed the NTUC ministers to speak to him and he backed down. Complain to which authority?
February 02, 2009 2:23 AM

Ah Hai
02-02-2009, 08:19 AM
Sunday, February 01, 2009
Forum, Sat 7 Feb 2009
I have agreed to speak at the following forum on the topic "Challenges that alternative/opposition parties have to face".

Date: 7 Feb 2009, Saturday
Time: 2-5 pm
Place: Copthorne Orchid Hotel, Dunearn Road, Radius Room

I hope that the regular visitors of my blog will attend this forum.

More details here:
http://yoursdp.org/index.php/news/singapore/1799-opposition-where-to-

Ah Hai
02-02-2009, 08:20 AM
19 Comments

Anonymous Wilson said...

Mr. Tan, could you eleborate what "alternative parties" means? And how long is your speech going to last?

January 25, 2009 1:28 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Mr. Tan,

What is meant by "alternative parties"? Are you refering to political parties, counterparties?

January 25, 2009 3:01 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr Tan
Do you want the minibond investors to be there?

January 26, 2009 12:54 AM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Mr.Tan is seriously considering to join the fray into polictical arena now.Good try,I shall vote for you,please come to my Jurong GRC,thanks

a retiree

January 26, 2009 9:07 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr Tan,

Are you going to form an alernative party? You have the numbers already? You have the solutions to deal with the challenges already?

If yes to all, then very good. You have my one vote.

January 27, 2009 12:34 AM
Anonymous A Tan said...

Who else is speaking?

January 27, 2009 7:57 AM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Leadership around the world, including Sillypore, has been real lousy for the past decade. We'll need changes! Huat ar!

January 27, 2009 9:26 AM
Blogger Yan said...

Best, now ppl are vying for Mr Tan's Presence (GRC)

Come to CCK. i m here.

Will support you. =)

January 27, 2009 10:31 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi,
Another voice is always better than one voice. We need to have this kind of vibrant and synergised discussion to make Singapore a better place. At least I see that our neighbouring country, Malaysia, is forced to change because of a stronger opposition.

January 28, 2009 10:42 AM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Friends
While I am politically NEUTRAL, the structured notes saga has taught me a HARD LESSON that we badly need a VOICE for commoners.

We do need an ALTERNATIVE VOICE. This is not so much to ensure the survival of opposition, but to have policy and decision DEBATED & VOTED INTELLIGENTLY. Otherwise, our policies and decisions are one-tracked and COULD result in bad investments, wrong emphasis in charting the future of Singapore etc. Decision is both an OUTCOME and a PROCESS, and hence leveraging on common grounds is important.

The world is getting more complicated and competitive, hence, our policy and decisions should also be tested RIGOROUSLY. The current embarrassment by MPs show the result of working under shelter. If they make a slip of behavior, they pay for the mistakes themselves. If they make a mistake in policy and decision, we Singaporeans pay for it. This is no joke, really.

Yours truly. "Be my Voice"

January 28, 2009 8:52 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To : a retiree January 26, 2009 9:07 PM

Hi,

You are from Jurong GRC? I learnt from some of the residents of Boon Lay saying that the current MP and her team did not do her job well. They dislike the MP and her team.
But, the MP at Jurong East is doing well.
People even say that the opposition party may have chance to win at Boon Lay.

What is your view?

a housewife

January 29, 2009 11:26 AM
Anonymous tokselehon said...

Kin Lian

Good that you are one of the speakers in the coming Public Forum.

I may not know you personnaly but I heard of you lately, thru Teck Siong.

Anyway, I can understand that your contact is wide and I can see that you can leverage on getting many civil servants to come by,have a look on what to expect of them and the Opposition and how can they(civil servant)play a role on the Great Singaporeans' interest in local politics.How can they bridge that tri-contact.

This is one of the many challenges that could never happen yesteryear but I have confident that you can make it happen any time soon.

Really CONFIDENT in you - that's really something telling me.





CHANGE WE NEED, YES,
tokselehon.

January 29, 2009 6:01 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr.Tan should seriously think of forming or joining a polictical party now.Start preparing for the coming election and constibute to a single ward or join hands in a GRC.
Jurong GRC will certainly welcome Mr.Tan to lead them.We need a caring MP who can constibute to the well-being of the constituent.We need a man or a woman who can works for the benefits of the poor,retirees and under-privileges for a resonable lifestyle.

~another retiree~

January 30, 2009 11:24 AM
Blogger george said...

Mr Tan
Read from newspapers and news that you have intentions to go into politics again if there are enough people who support you.
I have admired your willingness to stand out for those who are affected by Lehman Brothers'fiasco and your perserverence towards getting the matter closure.
How do I get to attend the public forum? Is registration required? Thank you.

February 01, 2009 3:14 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To another retiree~:

I remember that there was one time that PAP nearly lost Jurong East by only won of 2000 votes. The opposition party was a young girl. A very young girl.

a housewife

February 01, 2009 3:44 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr Tan,

I will be there to show my support.

YES, WE CAN !

February 01, 2009 4:03 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr Tan,

suggest u form a team to contest in Jurong east GRC or Aljunied or Eunos GRC, or Bukit Batok/Gombak single seat. PAP always face challenge in these area. If we can take 1 GRC from PAP, ho sei liao. That will be the START of CHANGE

February 01, 2009 5:23 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I stay in Yishun. We need you here too.

February 01, 2009 5:26 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good for you Mr Tan. I will be there and look forward to hearing the views of various political parties and you.

February 01, 2009 11:01 PM

Ah Hai
02-02-2009, 08:21 AM
Monday, February 02, 2009
Insurance company reject claim due to non-cooperation
Dear Mr Tan,
I had an accident on 2005 and had pleaded guilty at the court's hearing. My mother was the one who informed the insurance agent of this accident as the insurance was under her name.

Last year, I received first law letter from the insurance company that they will severe ties with me as I have bleached their contract of not cooperating with them on this case. I had once received a called from them but have told them that i was busy and would return call back which I had told my mother to. Since then, I had not received any further contact from them until this first lawyer letter.

Now I received a second letter to attend to court hearing between the plaintiff (the one whose car I knocked onto), the insurance company as co-applicant, and I as the defendant. Could you advice me?

REPLY
You should reply to the lawyer's letter to explain that you have been willing to cooperate, and you are waiting for their communication.

As to the letter to attend the court hearing, you should bring it to your insurance company's attention. They have to deal with this matter. As they are more experienced, they will know what they have to do.
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 6:25 AM
Labels: Insurance

Ah Hai
02-02-2009, 08:22 AM
Monday, February 02, 2009
Attend the interview with the bank now
Dear Mr. Tan,
I bought minibonds series. When I heard about the lehman brothers bankruptcy in last September, I went to the bank and asked them what would be the next step. They told me to wait.

I didn't hear anything specific for a couple of months so I went back to see the rep who sold me the product. He told me that I should meet his colleague for an interview. I was skeptical given what I read in newspaper about categorizing graduates and non graduates. But he managed to persuade me that it doesn't hurt and someone would call me the next working day.

Someone just called me to have an appointment. Can you advise whether going to meet this manager would help or hurt my chances of getting my money back?

REPLY
It is all right to attend the meeting. You should tell the truth, and focus on the questions listed here.

If you have been truly misled, you should expect a fair offer of compensation. If you do not get a fair offer, you can escalate the complaint to FIDREC.

Please read my blog in detail for the other information that you need. I am not able to advice you individually on this matter. I hope you understand my limitation.
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 9:10 AM

Ah Hai
03-02-2009, 04:49 AM
Tuesday, February 03, 2009
Ten of the worst ... scams to avoid
Dear Mr Tan
Please find an updated list of top ten scams from the UK Guardian Feb 2 2009 . Land Banking is listed at number 4 and continues to be a problem. Is there any chance some action will be taken on this in Singapore
-------

Ten of the worst ... scams to avoid
More than 3 million consumers fall victim to scams each year, but you don't have to be one of them. Tony Levene picks the main ones to avoid
Tony Levene
Monday February 2 2009
guardian.co.uk

Scams cost UK consumers at least GBP3.5bn last year, according to the Office of Fair Trading (OFT). And the older you are, the more likely you are to lose money: older folk tend to have cash as well as being more trusting.

The OFT estimates 3 million UK consumers a year fall victim to scams sent by post, email, text or over the phone. But the real figure could be much higher. Many victims fail to report losses, often due to embarrassment.

Today is the first day of the OFT's scams awareness month designed to raise awareness of mass marketed scams. The consumer watchdog is setting up a nationwide "Scamnesty" scheme, which calls on consumers to drop scam mailings into scamnesty bins or boxes at local libraries and public areas across the country. The OFT says the information collected will help identify and develop strategies to combat the worst criminals.

So what are the scams most likely to catch people out? Here is our top 10.

1. Homeworking scams
Credit-crunched people turning to part-time work to help balance budgets need to watch out. Homeworking scamsters advertise "easy earnings" in return for cash. But all they send out is a leaflet telling people to advertise "easy earnings" schemes. Others promise big rewards for packing goods ? they take the money upfront and victims never see any earnings, even if they are conned into packing goods.

2. Racing tipsters
Many tipsters try to find winners, but some offer "guaranteed" tips which turn into a regular income in return for a fee. Except they don't. Others ask you to put money on horses for them in return for a 50% share of winnings, while promising to recompense losing bets. The only safe bet is that you won't see your money again.

3. Bogus foreign lotteries
You receive a letter from Spain saying you have won a million euros in a lottery you have never heard of, let alone entered. The fraudsters demand you send some money to "unlock the cash". And then some more. There is no prize ? victims can lose tens of thousands of pounds.

4. Landbanking
Fraudsters buy a field, divide it into tiny slices and sell each one for big money ? usually ?10,000 ? by convincing victims the land will soon get planning permission. The land never gets planning consent and the landbankers disappear with your money, leaving you with valueless land.

5. Pyramid schemes
A classic pyramid scheme involves getting lots of people to invest small amounts of money and offering them a reward for every new recruit they sign up. For example, you might be invited to invest ?3,000 of your own money and asked to recruit seven other investors who will pay you ?3,000 each. You now have ?21,000. The incentive for your friends is that they are "allowed" to go out and each recruit seven other investors so they get ?21,000 as well. It is illegal and people soon run out of friends to con.

6. Business opportunity scams
Here you are offered a "franchise" or other business idea in return for thousands of pounds in fees. The attraction is along the lines of "thousands of pounds a month without leaving the comfort of your armchair." The idea is usually rubbish and the originator runs off with your money.

7. Phoney jobs
Another credit crunch special. Websites promise jobs with high pay for an hour's work a day for those with no experience or skills. The first snag is you have to send substantial cash sums for the application form upfront. The second snag is that the job does not exist.

8. Bouncing cheques
Advertise your car or motorbike in a legitimate website or publication and you could get someone offering you more than you ask for. They will back this up by sending you a "certified cheque" or "banker's draft" for the cash. By the time you discover the cheque is a forgery your vehicle is halfway across Europe. Many insurers will not pay out for "theft by deception".

9. Boiler room investment frauds
Very persuasive salespeople call you up ? usually from abroad ? to offer you sure-fire share investments. The shares, if they exist at all, are overpriced by up to 100 times. And it is impossible to sell them. It is easy to lose ?20,000 or more.

10. Phishing
This is nothing to do with angling! Fraudsters send emails purporting to come from your bank's security department, asking you for your log-in, password and other personal details. Once they have these they loot your account. No legitimate bank ever asks for these details. And banks are getting tougher with victims, telling some they will not be recompensed for their losses because, by now, everyone should know about this racket.

Tony Levene is the author of How to avoid scams (Age Concern ?9.99)
Copyright Guardian Newspapers Limited 2009
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 8:22 AM

Ah Hai
03-02-2009, 04:50 AM
2 comments:

Anonymous said...

There are still MLM companies running in Spore selling so-called health products. Are these entities legal?
February 03, 2009 9:31 AM
Anonymous said...

Another scam products to include are all the cashback anticipated endowments in the market.. They are worst because consumers are slowly but surely sucked of their money. Consumers think they receive money or yearly interest which actually is half of their own money. Consumers never ask what happened to the rest of their money. The insurance companies make use of their cheap money to generate more money, keep the profit but return a paltry interest to the consumers which is actually a loss if you factor in the inflation rate over a very long period.One product even claims that it is a retirement saving plan.This is grossly misleading and misrepresenting. These products are worst than the other scam because they steal without the consumers knowing it.
No wonder consumers or Singaporeans cannot retire because of such products in the market.Also with collaboration of the greedy insurance agents who have lost their conscience like the animals both the companies and them colluded to suck off the consumers.
February 03, 2009 11:24 AM

Ah Hai
03-02-2009, 04:54 AM
Tuesday, February 03, 2009
SCMP:Lawmakers want brokerage's role in Lehman products saga revealed
Source

3 Feb 2009
Paggie Leung

Legislators have urged the Securities and Futures Commission to publish in full the details of its investigation into Sun Hung Kai Investment Services’ sales of Lehman Brothers investment products.

“Why don’t you release the investigation report to let us decide whether your penalty is a fair one?” financial affairs panel legislator Albert Ho Chun-yan asked SFC chief executive Martin Wheatley yesterday at a meeting to discuss reports on the minibond saga prepared by the commission and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority.

The question came 11 days after the SFC reprimanded the company over its sales of minibonds.

The firm immediately announced it would repay about 300 investors HK$85 million and review its internal systems. It did not acknowledge any liability or wrongdoing.

“No one knows what Sun Hung Kai did … we are all in the dark,” Mr Ho said. He said he would have preferred it if the SFC had just fined the firm and used that to repay the investors. “The message would be clearer and fairer,” he said.

Civic Party legislator Ronny Tong Ka-wah said disclosure would let firms know the “things [the SFC] is going to do to the institutions to make them realise that in future, they have to adhere to regulations faithfully”.

However, the commission said it had achieved the best outcome in the case, given that it did not have the power to order the company to pay compensation.

“Getting compensation back to its investors is the most important part of this investigation process and imposing a fine would not achieve that,” Mr Wheatley told lawmakers.

“I think you have to realise that it would make any negotiation we have with any of the banks concerned more difficult if we couldn’t achieve any agreement [with Sun Hung Kai].”

Hong Kong investors lost billions of dollars on minibonds guaranteed by Lehman Brothers when the US investment bank went bankrupt in September 2008. Minibonds are not corporate bonds, but consist of highrisk credit-linked derivatives. They are marketed as a proxy investment in well-known companies.
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 9:25 AM
Labels: Credit linked notes

Ah Hai
03-02-2009, 04:55 AM
Tuesday, February 03, 2009
SCMP:Minibond settlement may start new troubles
Source

3 Feb 2009
Enoch Yiu

The city’s corporate police seem to be getting smarter and faster – at least when it comes to such high-profile cases as the minibond issue.

While in the past insider dealing cases needed seven or eight years to reach a final verdict, the Securities and Futures Commission has made history by taking only four months to reach settlement with Sun Hung Kai Investment Services on the minibond refund.

The brokerage has agreed to voluntarily pay back all HK$85 million to 310 investors in minibonds issued or guaranteed by collapsed Lehman Brothers Holdings. The landmark settlement shows the commission can move mountains when it wants to.

It also appears to be a smart choice. While the broker insisted it had done nothing wrong, it agreed to give a full refund to investors. Had the SFC opted to take the case to the Market Misconduct Tribunal, it might have waited many years for a ruling and investors might not have got their money back in the end.

Our regulatory friends have assured White Collar that Sun Hung Kai is not the only one in the SFC’s sights. It is checking other minibond distributors – understood to include two brokers and 21banks – and will demand a full refund to clients if it is confirmed they had misled investors into buying the products without explaining the risks.

Once the SFC reached an agreement with an institution, all of the firm’s clients would receive the compensation.

White Collar is concerned investors may now ignore the moral hazard of investing in such dubious products. The 310 Sun Hung Kai investors who bought the Lehman minibonds did not need to bear any investment losses at all.

The SFC considered they should be fully repaid as they would never have been lured into buying the products if brokers and banks had clearly explained the risks involved.

But Sun Hung Kai has been a broker in Hong Kong for 40 years and has many sophisticated clients. Were all these clients so naive as to be misled by the brokerage staff? If some investors bought the products with their eyes open, they should bear at least some responsibility.

Has a precedent been set where investors use high-profile complaints and street protests to pressure the SFC to force intermediaries to accept liability for the investors’ own wrong investment decisions?

The other problem created by the Sun Hung Kai settlement is the expectation gap. Other minibond investors may not accept lower compensation levels from their banks or brokerages. It will certainly add pressure to other banks and brokers to follow suit, but neither the SFC nor the Hong Kong Monetary Authority can force them to offer the same settlement.

It is easy to understand why Sun Hung Kai was willing to pay up – the money involved was not large, at less than 1per cent of all minibonds sold. Also, if it said no to the SFC, it would have risked losing its licence.

For the banks, some of which have sold several billion dollars worth of minibonds, a full settlement may be less attractive. Although the SFC can mete out disciplinary action, it is the HKMA that supervises their daily operations and issues their licences.

As this column has mentioned before, the government should seriously consider a single financial regulator for banks and brokers.
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 9:29 AM

Ah Hai
03-02-2009, 04:57 AM
Tuesday, February 03, 2009
Advice on lodging complaint on FIDREC
Mr Wang Says So http://mrwangsaysso.blogspot.com/is writing a series of articles on possible lines of arguments that investors could use when they use the FIDREC adjudication process. I urge you to read the articles.

The first two articles.
http://mrwangsaysso.blogspot.com/2009/02/saga-of-structured-notes-what-next-for.html
http://mrwangsaysso.blogspot.com/2009/02/saga-of-structured-notes-what-next-for_03.html

He may be writing other articles.
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 10:38 AM

Ah Hai
03-02-2009, 09:56 AM
4 Comments

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr Tan

this was shown on the news yesterday. http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/singaporebusinessnews/view/406428/1/.html

Just want to know, what about DBS High Notes??

February 03, 2009 11:12 AM
Blogger C H Yak said...

We like to imagine the Legal Process and those who administer and practise it as being fair, equitable and honourable people.

Unfortunately, the process itself in reality is far from being fair and equiptable as we would want it to be. This is inspite of the fact that civil servants in Singapore are paid million-dollar salaries to administer justice and high legal fees are chargeable in the profession.

Next, the legal profession may not be really fair and equitable to the layman. It is a profession where "paper" slurs and lies are granted exclusive privilege to exist, without any professional regrets, in a process to so call extract what is meant as "truth" only to these honourable souls. Truths in the verbal form could never be readily admitted, even with statutory procedural provisions, and are easily deemed to be not the real truths by those adminsitering justice.

I would consider equity in law as only an ideal principle which can never be purely administered and / or practised equitably by these destined "Honourable" souls. In later stage of their destiny, they would probably need to be more soul-searching.

It is a not process to have good experience. But if you have to experience it, fight it hard; or even cunning. If not, the honest may suffer and the cunning may be taken as truthful.

February 03, 2009 12:32 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

According to DBS website, 3 more companies within the 100 entities list have filed for bankruptcy. This means all together 5 companies have become bankrupt and it is very likely that holders of HN2 and maybe some other series of HNs will be badly affected. This is surely going to stir another round of protest to the bank. There is however no new posting on the blog maintained by the High Notes Investors Group. What happens to this group?

February 03, 2009 1:44 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nothing interesting and nothing new in Mrwangsaysso.

February 03, 2009 1:48 PM

Ah Hai
03-02-2009, 09:57 AM
Tuesday, February 03, 2009
Bonus restructure badly affected by the global crisis
Dear Mr, Tan Kin Lian,

I have two concerns about NTUC Income's bonus restructure enforced on policy holders effective last year, 2008.

First Concern
I have been paying about 11 years for an Income endowment policy. If I am not mistaken, my payout from NTUC Income at maturity date, 2011, will probably be badly affected by the recession. Had the bonus not been restructured in 2008, I would have a larger amount locked-in last year because the economy was bouyant in 2007 and the bonus for 2007 is distributed in 2008.

Second Concern
I think policyholders like me should have been allowed an opt out option last year when Income decided to restructure the bonus. This is because when I signed for my policy it was based on a different understanding of the bonus distribution. I have only two years more to pay my premiums so if I understood how my policy is affected by the bonus restructure, I should be allowed to opt out with no penalty. I find I cannot opt out now because of the financial penalty incurred, I have to continue my premium payments for this year and the next.

In conclusion, I expect my worst fears will be realised when I receive notification of downward revision on Income endowment policy after the end of Income's financial year.

I would like to hear from you. Thank you very much, your insights into these concerns I'm sure will be absolutely helpful.

REPLY
I agree with your views. I believe that NTUC Income should have allowed policyholders to make a choice to stay with the old bonus structure.

But the management and board was adament about their right to change the bonus structure and not to give this option. The chairman made a promise at last year's Annual General Meeting about the future bonuses. At that time, the promise was quite reasonable.

Subsequently, the global financial crisis came, and made the situation worse for policyholders - especially with the restructured bonus.

I suggest that you write to the chairman of the board of NTUC Income to express your views. You can also write to MAS.
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 2:31 PM
Labels: Insurance
1 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think your advice makes sense after Income policyholders receive their letters from Income. Then there is hard evidence. Policyholders should receive their letters sometime in April 2009 because the financial year closes on 31st March 2009.
February 03, 2009 3:42 PM

Ah Hai
04-02-2009, 04:28 AM
HONG KONG - A group of Hong Kong investors in Lehman Brothers-backed financial products plans to sue in US court after the Wall Street firm's collapse left their investments possibly worthless, a lawyer said.

The lawsuit is expected to be filed this month in New York against European lender HSBC for its role in distributing the Lehman-tied investments, Patrick Daniels, an American attorney representing the investors, said late on Tuesday.

Investors - among them retirees who sank their life savings into the products - have faced billions of dollars in potential losses since the storied Wall Street firm filed for bankruptcy in September, leading to widespread anger, demonstrations and government probes.

More than 40,000 Hong Kongers bought Lehman-backed investment products through banks and brokerages, with the total outstanding value of the products estimated at HK$20.2 billion (S$3.9 billion), according to government estimates.

The majority of the investments were labeled 'mini-bonds,' though they weren't straightforward corporate bonds but rather complex derivative products.

For its part, London-headquartered HSBC provided the directors for the special investment company set up to issue the mini-bonds and served as a trustee that was supposed to hold the collateral backing the investment products. Other Hong Kong banks, not HSBC, sold the mini-bonds to retail investors.

Mr Daniels said HSBC was obligated to protect and represent the interests of investors.

'They failed in that obligation, and that's the case we are going to hold them responsible for,' he said Tuesday following a meeting of Lehman investors in Hong Kong.

An HSBC spokeswoman noted the bank did not directly sell the mini-bonds to investors.

'Will we defend ourselves vigorously,' said bank spokeswoman Vinh Tran.

The federal lawsuit will seek class-action status for the some 33,000 mini-bond investors, said Peter Chan, head of an investor group involved in the case. -- AP

Ah Hai
05-02-2009, 06:39 AM
Measures to stimulate the economy
First posted on 22 Nov 2008

Most countries adopt the following measures to stimulate a slowing economy:
> capital spending, e.g. build infrastructure, roads, bridges, etc
> reduce tax, i.e. consumption, income or profit tax
> give cash cheques to consumers to spend

Which method is better? I believe that a combination of measures are necessary. A lower rate of consumption tax (e.g. GST) will encourage people to spend and will stimulate the economy. Cash cheques for consumers may results in some of the money being saved, and not used for spending. But it can help the cash flow of the lower income people.

So far, no country has adopted the following measure (which is my preference):
> give a credit line to consumers at a low rate of interest - subject to a cap.

This credit line, which is given to someone who has lost a job, can help to pay the mortgages and meet the monthly expenses. It reduces borrowing on credit cards or other sources that can add to the interest burden. This credit line will encourage the people with jobs to continue their normal spending (as they do not need to increase their savings in case of retrenchment). More details in this article.

In many countries, there is no need for this relief loan as the retrenched workers can get unemployment benefit. This scheme is important for many Asian countries that do not have unemployment insurance.
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 8:04 PM

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

"18 Nov: MR TAN Kin Lian organised yet another rally last Saturday, this time to assist investors to redress their injustices over the collapse of the Pinnacle Notes 9 and 10 series by Morgan Stanley. Too many people are taking advantage of the situation to get back money from what they knew was a risky investment....

Source: http://www.straitstimes.com/ST%2BForum/Story/STIStory_303479.html

Dear Chua Sheng Yang,

We do not know you but we cannot standby and watch while you go lambasting Mr Tan Kin Lian as if you have a sword to grind with him.

Now, if Mr Tan is as bad as you make him out to be when he was CEO of NTUC, how about showing the same level of disdain toward PAP’s Mr Tharman Shamugaratnan?

Mr Tharman was a convict, convicted under the official secrets act while he was director of MAS. The PAP was able to ‘move on’ with his conviction, ignore it, gave him a place in PAP, and mind you a very high place at that, got back his job at MAS with very a much improved package with autonomous authority over the same institution that charged him for revealing secret information and being made the Minister for Finance that looks after our national reserves."---i received this partial article from friends.

I really don't understand why is that such a thing happening??Why is he getting all the credits for doing bad things(correct me if i am wrong, i am just curious)?
sorry but i dunno y u r attacked but some people get scotfree..
November 22, 2008 9:18 PM
Anonymous said...

Apease folks

Theres a reason theres a Chua Sheng Yang

if one pause to think, maybe for a while or so, one will realise the REASON behind his existence.

Then theres nothing to be angry about anymore.

Isnt that rite Blog OWner
November 22, 2008 10:21 PM
Anonymous said...

Dear Mr Tan, thinking further about your suggestion to extend credit to unemployed people, do you think such a scheme would encourage people to stay unemployed? one incentive to go for a job search is because of lack of money and if that is partly resolved by the loan, would that lead to complacency? also, if such a credit line would to be extend limitlessly...would it add on to the debt burden of individuals no matter how low the interest rates? of course i'm sure with some tweaking perhaps we can overcome these issues but these are just my two cents thoughts.
November 23, 2008 9:52 AM
Loh Hon Chun said...

I also hope to see the current S$8,000 limit for combined household income eligible to buy a HDB flat to be increased. This rule is there for donkey years! Singapore government should move with the current standard of living and increase this limit like how they have increased utilities bills so easily.

Cheers
hongjun
November 23, 2008 6:13 PM
Anonymous said...

The Hong Kong Legislative Council subcommittee was expected to start its investigation into the Lehman minibond debacle in late January, its chairman said on Monday. ...
November 24, 2008 6:40 PM
Donaldson Tan said...

Anonymous (9.18pm),

It is true that our Minister of Finance is an ex-convict. The crime was committed in 1992, when Tharman was director of the economic department of the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

http://www.iht.com/articles/1993/10/22/sing_0.php
November 24, 2008 8:59 PM

Ah Hai
06-02-2009, 08:50 AM
Friday, February 06, 2009
Suggestion to stimulate the Singapore economy - Money multiplier
Dear Mr Tan,
I wish to submit the following suggestion to stimulate the Singapore economy

1) First, the government to issue cash voucher with mutiple nomination of $100 with expiry of 1 year. This voucher would be sent out to all Singaporean.

2) With this voucher, the catch is that it must be spend with any SG establishment with minimum purchase of $150 in a single receipt.

3) So, it would have the immediate desired money mutiplier effect for demand within the expiry.

4) SG establishment receiving these $100 voucher through customer payment can be creative by paying part of their employee pay package with these $100 voucher based on $80 employee wage (opt in basis by individual employee depending on their need for these voucher). This would be implied improvement of the firm cashflow as the more voucher which the firm collects mean his sales turnover has improved. And, by paying voucher to employee at employee option, it free up some cash particularly the profit make when the voucher has to be spend with additional $50 cash.

5) The next catch is that this $100 voucher has a depreciating effect that by end of the expiry date, the remaining value which could be converted to cash through SG bank is $80. The reasoning for this approach is to further stimulate those SG industries particularly those with high profit margin such as retail store, high end products and capacity measured establishments such as Concert, Cinema and exhibition space which having 20% discount (based on proceed of $80) would not be an issue rather than the actual sales volume.

6)Inevitably, I believe that with these $100 voucher, demand and supply would create a secondary trading market for this voucher during the expiry date which would further spur up comsumption and believe the government through their various agencies could also snap up these vouchers to stimulate further.

Simpl
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 1:25 AM
7 comments:

Anonymous said...

To the relevant authorities,

If this is not a brilliant idea, I don't know what else is. Please, would someone kindly act on it fast to save all the suffering citizens. Thank you and God bless.

A Concerned Citizen
February 06, 2009 4:39 AM
Anonymous said...

I prefer a "keep it simple" method. I cannot understand it. Can simplify your explanation? Thanks.
February 06, 2009 5:58 AM
Anonymous said...

This is similar to the idea of increase supply of money which theoretically leads to increase in consumption. The voucher idea is innovative because it has an expiry date and so the money has to be spent within a period of time.

Unfortunately I don't think it will work just as many of the Job Credit Scheme etc are not likely going to be of much help. In Singapore, our economy main contributor of GDP is not consumption. Remember, GDP = C + I + G + X - M.
February 06, 2009 8:14 AM
ym said...

i am speechless... i dont want to be rude but this by far is one of the stupidiest idea i have ever heard..

btw, zimbabwe's currency also has an expiry date, see the similarities?!?..

just some basic laws about the economy...
- printing money out of thin air will not help the economy recover, it is merely just couterfeiting (monetary economist calls this inflation)..

- counterfeiting, exchanging something for nothing, only destroys real wealth..

- theory of spend yourself out of recession is simply wrong and illogical


are you a banker Simpl?.. only bankers think wealth can be created from nothing...
February 06, 2009 9:17 AM
Anonymous said...

i also think that this is a stupid idea. not innovative at all.
February 06, 2009 11:22 AM
Anonymous said...

I think it's YM's understanding of economics which is somewhat lacking, even though I too dount the efficacy of Simpl's plan for the reason cited by an earlier annonymous commenter: consumption does not actually make much difference to Singapore's GDP.

When banks cut and raise interest rates (though not in Singapore's case since we use exchange rates), there is an immediate impact on money supply and creation, which either increases or lowers the amount of money in circulation. So central banks actually do print/ destroy money all the time. So while YM can certainly disagree with the proposal to raise money supply in these times, it's not clear that YM understands the money tranmission mechnism, nor does he have any alternative solution (explicit or implicit) to offer in his diatribe either, other than boldly declaring that it is "not logical" to spend your way out of recession.
February 06, 2009 11:34 AM
Concerned said...

As expected the cries from many quarters for the reduction in the GST is ignored by the FM. From his reasoning, it goes against the proverbial logic of two heads is better than one. In this case, it is 1 head is better than 10 heads, as he argued against the reduction of GST. What FM does not understand and felt is that since the increase in the GST from 5% to 7% (a 2% increase), the prices of of many goods (particularly in hawker centres) increase by 8% to 20%, as the 2% has a multiplier effect in the sales chain when the goods passed from one seller to the next.
That is the reason why people prefer the reduction in the GST than further GST credits, hoping that GST reduction will be lead to a reduction in the prices before the GST increase. FM is a busy man and is renumerated in S$ millions, so he does not felt the price increase personally does not mean that there is no price increase and also no pain for the man in the street.
February 06, 2009 12:14 PM

Ah Hai
06-02-2009, 08:52 AM
Friday, February 06, 2009
Local transport within a town
Is there a need to create a local transport service (using light bus or private cars) to serve a town? Give your views in this survey.
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 10:31 AM
Labels: Survey
1 comments:

Ah Hai
09-02-2009, 10:58 AM
Sunday, February 08, 2009
SIAS COMMENT may be detriment to INVESTOR
Dear Mr. Tan Kin Lian

I have the worry that SIAS statement dated 7 February 2009 and MAS affirmation could actually weaken the investor position, un-wittily. As a result, the FI could corner the investor even if they are in the complete wrong.

Let me give you a HYPOTHETICAL illustration below.

1. FI offers 30% compensation

2. If the investor accepts, the investor will only get 30%. Investor will lose the possibility of full claim (the rest of 70%), reimbursement of costs and compensation for distress. The FI saves 70% of compensation and other related compensation. Most importantly, FI escapes being punished under the Financial Advisor Act.

3. If the investor rejects, the investors will have to fight on his own. That means investor forfeits the original 30% compensation. Investor will have to take out money and time to fight the case, and not to mention the stress and anguish of injustice investor has to go through. While the FI fight the case as an institution with full resource and support eg. full-time staff, corporate lawyer, financial advantage etc. Whilst, the investor has to fight as an individual with bare knuckle and with little knowledge and financial resource. This is another situation of “institution vs individual” and “strong vs weak”.

With the above illustration, FI stands on the upper hand.

If my analysis is correct, and if I were the advisor for the FI, I would be well rewarded by advising the FI to compensate all the investors with investment below $100,000 a compensation of 30%. I think more than 90% of the investors will accept it, as the investors are being cornered. The FI will amass their might to fight the remaining disgruntled 10% investors.

This is an effective strategy. Using the military metaphor, you have effectively segregated and castrated your opponents, thereafter using “an army of Goliaths to fight an infant David”.

If the FI chooses to take advantage of SIAS’s statement, I hope not. The investor will lose out greatly both in terms of unfairness and injustice.

It is unfair because the investor will likely be cornered to accept 30% compensation even if the FI is in the complete wrong. This is especially so when the investor invested less then $100,000 and below. The original words of comfort from MAS that “complaint handling should not be based on legality but guided by principle of fairness” will come to nothing. The investor is misled and suffered loss, he could only recover 30% compensation. Investor is unlikely to spend more than 100,000 legal costs (Note: Structured notes is complicated and legal will not be cheap.) to fight the remaining 70% or $70,000 claim.

It is unjust because investor who is being misled, if investor accepts 30% compensation would have to pay for “70% of the FI who misled”, suffer “anxiety and anguish” and see the FI “escapes punish by law under the Finance Advisor Act”. It is unjust because if investor rejects the 30% compensation, he stands alone fighting a disproportionate battle against the FI. Hopefully, the money invested is not the investor’s coffin money or cash reserved for children tertiary education.

I think FI will take maximum legal leverage. This is because admission to mis-selling is self-incriminating that FI contravenes provision of the Financial Advisor Act.

I really hope that my deepest fear of injustice will not occur to ordinary people.

FROM: CASHEW NUT

REPLY
The position stated by SIAS is correct. If the investor goes to FIDREC or take legal action, the offer by the financial institution is automatically withdrawn.

I believe that a fair offer is 50% of the amount of the loss, i.e. that the loss should be shared equally between the distributor and the investor. I hope that the financial institution will agree to offer 50%, so that most of the investors will accept it as a fair offer.

Ah Hai
10-02-2009, 06:33 AM
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Temasek - slightly less Singaporean

Article
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 4:10 AM
http://tankinlian.blogspot.com/2009/02/temasek-slightly-less-singaporean.html

Ah Hai
10-02-2009, 06:34 AM
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Surveys
Click on the label "Survey" on the right panel to take part in the various surveys (of interest to you) and to view the results.
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 4:26 AM

Ah Hai
10-02-2009, 06:35 AM
GENEVA - SWITZERLAND'S biggest bank UBS on Tuesday posted a full-year loss of 19.697 billion Swiss francs (S$26 billion), with about half of the losses incurred in the fourth quarter.

The group said losses for the last three months of the year reached 8.1 billion francs due mainly to losses in its investment bank unit.

It said that it has had 'an encouraging start' this year, with positive inflows of assets at its wealth management and asset management units.

However, the bank warned that the immediate outlook remained 'cautious' and that it would continue to cut costs and risks. -- AFP

Ah Hai
11-02-2009, 10:43 PM
Term insurance - for family protection

Dear Mr. Tan,
You advised a person to have life insurance for 5 to 10 years of earnings. If I earn $50,000 a year, do I need $500,000 of life insurance? How much will it cost? Can I afford it?
REPLY
Assume that you have a young family and you are now 30 years old. If anything happens to you, you your family will need an income for the next 25 years (until the children are grown up). Let us assume that 60% of your income is set aside for the family expenses (i.e. 40% is for taxes, savings, and your personal expenses). Your family needs $30,000 yearly for the next 25 years.
Using a discount rate of 3%, the present value of the 25 year income stream is $538,000. This is 10 years of your income.
If you take a level term insurance for 25 years, you have to pay an annual premium of about $850 (male) or $475 (female). This are my indication of the fair premium rates. It represents less than 2% of your earings. You may be able to find an insurance company to offer a lower premium rate.

You can set aside 10% to 15% of your earnings as savings. You can invest in a balanced fund comprising of bonds and equities.
If you wish to pay a lower cost, you can buy a term insurance that reduces the sum assured gradually over the term. (As your children grows older, you will need less coverage to take care of their needs. Also, you savings would have increased each year). The cost of a decreasing term insurance is less than 50% of the level term insurance (indicative $425 for male, $240 for female).
I will be approaching a few insurance companies to offer attractive term insurance rates to members of FISCA (i.e. the financial services consumer association to be launched soon).
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 11:33 AM
Labels: Insurance


3 comments:

Anonymous said...

$500K is the average amount of insurance needed by average Singaporeans to cover dependent income for family but unfortunately Singaporean are covered only $100K.This is the statistics of MAS.
This prompted a warning by MAS to the LIA to get the members to do something. MAS warned against form filling by insurance agents and conflict of interest. These are the reasons why Singaporean are under insured. Agents only sell whole life and endowment that give them high commission and ignore the interest of the clients and product pushers only fill up the forms. MAS further warned that if this phenomenon continues LIA should look into change of the remuneration, maybe to do away with commission and substitute a fairer way of rewarding agents for WORK or Advice given to prevent conflict of interest which is the cause of under insurance and mis-sellings and misrepresentation.
I hope it will happen soon to stop all the malpractices by insurance agents.
February 11, 2009 12:21 PM
Anonymous said...

Please let us know when FISCA is ready.
I want to seek advice on my existing insurance policies and investment(loss) to see whether my agents have miss-sold and misrepresented me.
I have been reading about insurance in this blog and I feel my agents cheated on me and sold products that benefited them only. I also wonder whether I am under insured.
February 11, 2009 12:57 PM
Yong Qing said...

Hi Mr Tan, is the FISCA the insurance company that you are talking about last year?

I am still looking forward to the Wealth Accumulator plan and the decreasing term insurance. May I know when it will be "on sale"?

Thanks :)

Ah Hai
11-02-2009, 10:48 PM
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Standard Life to repay clients
Standard Life is to reimburse 97,000 customers who lost 5% of their money when the value of its Pension Sterling Fund, worth £2.1bn, was cut last month. Story.
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 5:42 AM

Ah Hai
12-02-2009, 10:27 PM
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Minibond Seminar - February 2009

The Minibond Victims Group will be organizing a seminar before the end of February under the theme "Rejected Or Partial Compensation: What Do You Do Next?"

We are expecting a Senior Counsel to be present during the seminar. Further details of the date, venue etc will be posted in Mr. Tan's blog as soon as possible. We will also be sending email updates to all those who have registered with us .

Minibond Victims Group
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 2:48 PM
Labels: Credit linked notes
3 comments:

Nick said...

Thanks for the gracious effort!
February 12, 2009 3:08 PM
Anonymous said...

Thank! I think people almost forgot us but it is not.
February 12, 2009 5:05 PM
Anonymous said...

Will it cover those be rejected 100%?
February 12, 2009 5:06 PM

Ah Hai
12-02-2009, 10:29 PM
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Register for class action now
Dear Mr. Tan,
I have registered my complaint with FIDREC. Can I wait for their reply, before deciding on the class action? When is the closing date?

REPLY

You must register for the class action now. The lawyer will accept your registration on a tentative basis, and allow you to withdraw if you accept an offer of settlement through FIDREC. You should also learn about the advantages and risk of the class action now.
If you wait for FIDREC's reply, it may be too late for you to join the class action. It is all too late for the lawyer to accept you at that time.
To register for the class action, you must see the contact person for the product that you have invested. This is shown in my blog. Search for it there. Please do not expect me to handle your individual request or to give individual advice, as I do not have the time to handle so many people.

Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 8:14 PM
Labels: Credit linked notes
4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I understand that the Lawyer working towards the Class Action is not interested to include investors who bought from broking firm. This will definitely reduce the class action group size and therefore increase the amount you have to pay for the class action. Can someone explain why investors who bought from broking firm are rejected.
February 12, 2009 8:32 PM
Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Tan,

Have you have shared the Queen Counsel assessment of our case with the various group leaders yet? I have not received any information from them. Thanks.

Willy
February 12, 2009 9:03 PM
Anonymous said...

The ugly side of greedy investors are showing again. They expect to get free advice without any effort on their part. They keep silent and did not play their part to support the group but when the fire is at their backside then they bother to ask redundant questions and expect free help. Now I understand why those honest and straightforward talk did not convince them but they are convinced by crooked and greedy talk. Birds of a feather flock together.
February 12, 2009 10:28 PM
Anonymous said...

I refer to the comment at 8:32pm :
If the lawyer for the class action does not want to include the investors from the broking firms, how much will each investor now have to pay to join the suit? Is it double of what was proposed at the last seminar at Dover Road(since the group is much smaller now). Kindly clarify so that we can decide if we can afford it.
February 12, 2009 11:35 PM

singveld
12-02-2009, 10:30 PM
still not settle yet???

gov can bust billions of dollar

cannot help the savers in signapore who were trick into buying bonds???

Ah Hai
12-02-2009, 10:30 PM
Thursday, February 12, 2009
See the contact person; read my blog
Dear Mr. Tan,
I have just received a rejection letter from the financial institution. What do I do? Who should I approach?
REPLY
Please read my blog. I do not have the time to give individual advice. I cannot also find the time to search for information for you. You should contact the contact person for the product that you have bought (listed in my blog) and ask for his or her advice on the actions that they are planning.

Ah Hai
12-02-2009, 10:31 PM
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Invest in Government Securities
Dear Mr. Tan,
I have written a series of posts this time on Singapore Government Securities i.e. SGS T-Bills and Bonds. Some of the topics I covered includes on an introduction to SGS, how to buy SGS and the advantages of SGS over fixed deposits. If you think it's useful for your readers, I would be glad if you can post on it on your blog. The link is http://www.moneytalk.sg/search/label/SGS. Thanks.

Ah Hai
13-02-2009, 09:57 AM
Friday, February 13, 2009
Bought credit linked note from stockbroker
X approached me for advice. He bought the Minibond from his broker (i.e. securities firm). The broker telephoned him and advised me to buy the product. The broker gave him the wrong information about the product, but admitted that this was the same information provided by Lehman Brothers in the briefing.

X wanted to join a class action, but there were insufficient number of investors in the same category (i.e. approached by broker through the telephone) to form a class. X decided that his best option was to file a complaint with FIDREC. He felt strongly that he had been misled, but he was not confident of presenting his case clearly.

It is important that X made his point of mis-selling clearly in the complaint filed with FIDREC. I advised X to approach Adrian Tan ([email protected]) and seek his assistance to prepare the complaint. X should pay a fee for the time taken by Adrian to study and write the complaint, but this will be lower than the fee charged by a lawyer. Furthermore, Adrian Tan is more familiar with this matter. X was happy to take my suggestion.

I wish X all the best in lodging his complaint.

Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 6:08 PM

Ah Hai
13-02-2009, 11:40 PM
Friday, February 13, 2009
Get a property report for $25 only

The newspaper carried the story about a property agent being sued by the seller for giving bad advice to sell a property at below the market value. The property was sold to the buyer (who was a friend of the agent) who then re-sold the property at a big profit.

The court decided in favour of the plaintiff and required the property agent to compensate the original owner for the loss.

It is important for the owner to get a property report that gives relevant information for the owner to form an opinion about the correct market price for the property. An example of this report is shown here. This report is available at an introductory price of only $25. Apart from providing information to help decide on the sale price, it can also be used to get some guidance on the rental price.

This property report is also useful for an owner who wish to sell or rent out the property directly and save on the high fees payable to the agent.

A property agent should also buy this report to advice the owner on the suitable price to sell or rent the property. It will avoid allegations of wrong advice later.

If you are interested to buy a report for your property, send an e-mail to [email protected] I will forward it to a person who can get you the report.




Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 8:38 PM
2 comments:

Anonymous said...

You can put insurance agents and property agents and they will live happily ever thereafter.
Both supposed to give advice but they don't . They push, mislead and hide facts and con their customers into buying.
It is time that the company they represent should bear the responsibility. It should be top down. Whatever advice they give to clients they are liable. No such thing as caveat emptor.
February 13, 2009 9:39 PM
Anonymous said...

are you into one of those sunshine scam

there are better things to do during retirement
February 13, 2009 9:50 PM

Ah Hai
13-02-2009, 11:45 PM
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Visitors to Tan Kin Lian's blog
I like to ask the regular visitors to my blog to register your e-mail address in the Google Group shown at the top of the right panel. This will allow me to send an e-mail to notify you of matters that may be of interest to you.

Ah Hai
15-02-2009, 10:40 AM
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Local transport within a town
Is there a need to create a local transport service (using light bus or private cars) to serve a town? Give your views in this survey.
Here are the survey results.
Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 2:00 PM
Labels: Survey
2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Tan,
It seems that you have turned your blog into a survey mechanism.
February 06, 2009 11:24 AM
Anonymous said...

I like to give my view on the comment that MR TAN has "turned (his) blog into a survey mechanism".

I think MR TAN did the RIGHT and GOOD things. This is one of the way public can engage in policy thinking for the general good of Singapore. The reasons are:
[1] He gives us alternative perspectives
[2] He allows us to speak by voting
[3] He summarizes it for our information
[4] He does it for FREE and without COERCION

You know the government always said, if you criticize the policy then you should have the alternatives!

Thank you MR TAN. ..... FROM CASHEW NUTS
February 07, 2009 7:42 AM

Ah Hai
15-02-2009, 10:42 AM
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Survey: Jobs Credit Scheme
Give your views on the Job Credit Scheme in this survey.

49 people responded to the survey within 12 hours. Here are the results. Most of the respondents do not like the scheme. They find the name of "job credit" to be misleading, as it is actually a wage subsidy and not a credit (that needs to be repaid). They prefer other ways to use the $4.5 billion.


Posted by Tan Kin Lian at 2:44 PM
Labels: Survey

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Mr Tan,
I am unsure if Job Credit scheme will really helps to save jobs.
For instance, if a company has no business, does it make sense or cents to keep all its employees though the government is helping to pay the salaries?

Jasmin
February 04, 2009 8:01 PM
david said...

I totally agree with Jasmin. What is lacking now is the 'ground level' experience. Yes, our leaders say there are jobs out there but Singaporeans are fussy. A $800 job as food court cleaner or whatever all go to foreigners why? To a foreigner $800 is very good, their rental maybe $100 (5 to a room) etc. To a Singaporean, $800 can hardly pay for their HDB loan etc.

With this economic downturn, since majority stay in HDB, there should be a HDB (Housing Deferred Bonus) whereby HDB owners are allowed to opt for special loan repayment be they under Banks or HDB loans.

This will definitely be a great relief and also reduce number of reposession.

Job Credits etc does it help? I really doubt. In the end who benefit? Left to be seen
February 05, 2009 6:34 AM
Anonymous said...

Jobs Credit Scheme will largely benefits MNR & some big organization who are still profitable.Why is the govt giving away the tax payer monies freely to these group?Can't they think of a good scheme to help the citizen?
$4.5b is no small amount.Why should it benefits the profitable companies instead of saving the suffering citizen?Honestly,I really don't understand the logic.

save the $4.5b
February 05, 2009 10:39 AM
WL said...

If $4.5 billion is used to save some 50,000 jobs, then each job costs us $90,000. Why not provide a retrenched worker with a cash grant of $10,000 and annual loan of $10,000 during this period. In this way, the $4.5 billion can help more people and those that would be affected.
February 06, 2009 12:12 AM
C H Yak said...

The Finance Minister had said the Government did not consider a temporary GST cut in the 7 per cent GST rate as "it would not have had a desired impact on demand and on the economy".
A GST cut would also leave lower and middle-income groups worse off, especially since GST revenues are used to fund social support programmes.

I could not understand the logic of such an explanation. The current economic crisis is considered "extra-ordinary", and I am sure it would require "exceptional" solutions.

Various problems in Singapore are self-inflicted. Our civil servants always go at length in crafting, packaging and explaining policies which are complicated to implement and which then stay inflexible. For example, the efforts gone at length into in packaging the Jobs Credit Scheme (JCS).

A cut in GST would help every Singaporean, permanent residents and even foreign workers contributing to our economy here. This is more likely to stimulate the economy. During such difficult times, the Government can always look at other more direct ways to fund social programs to help the lower and middle income groups and the needy. For this purpose, touching the "reserves" would be a honourable cause.

It should not become an excuse not to cut GST just because the increase of GST from 5% to 7% was previously explained as for getting the funds to help the needy.

In touching the "reserves" to fund JCS, profitable employers are enjoying subsidy from state funds contributed by all taxpayers. Putting the issue of whether it would save jobs aside, the indirect flow of subsidy would only help those who are still employed, provided firms would hand down the benefits to their employees. First of all, employers who need to retrench would still retrench whether or not there is JCS. Instead of helping profitable employers through JCS, these precious funds could be channelled directly to help the needy, lower income earners and even those retrenched.

With a further temporay cut in GST, I am sure the average worker would benefit much more and the economy would be stimulated. And it is only a "temporary" cut.

Benefits given directly to those in need of help through a simple process is certainly more effective then benefits handed down indirectly through a complicated crafted program no matter how beautifully it is designed and packaged for delivery. It may not be effective.

The JCS helps every employers, but in effect it may not finally help every worker save his job. We would touch the "reserves" to implement it. A cut in GST would benefits every person living in Singapore regardless of his status, but because the Government wants to use a small part of this GST revenue to help the needy and low income earners, the Government sees it not right to lower GST, and also abstain from touching the reserves to help the average needy Singaporean.

This logic seems funny.
February 06, 2009 5:37 PM
Anonymous said...

I think I can provide an insight into why the Govt think we are fussy when the truth is that the govt has been misled by the middle managers in their hierachy. I have witnessed how this is done even in supposedly govt backed co-operatives.
One example is the govt offer of 50% salary matching to help retrenched Singaporeans some years back. This govt backed co-operative hired qualified Singaporeans and pay them half their salary with the govt paying the other half. Once the six months are up they are told to resign or face termination. Reason given is that the org cannot afford to pay them their "high" salaries. To sweeten the deal, offer of part time employment is given. Not wanting to face the stigma of being sacked and with the offer of continuing part time work, these executives handed in their resignation letters. Thus on paper, Singaporeans are branded as choosy while the executive director, who earns more than ten times what these executives are paid, gets to go on radio to talk about choosy Singaporeans and how he and his organisation has tried to help them.
This is pathetic and shows the hiprocrisy of the whole system. I do not think the upper echelon of the govt knows this and genuinely wants to help Singaporeans who are also the voters of the govt. However, their efforts are being undermined by these middle rungs of hiprocratic directors who are benefitting from the system and ruining the whole country.
February 07, 2009 2:34 PM
Concerned said...

Assuming a company presently has 1,000 employees. In view of the down turn in business, it requires only 800 employees to continue the operation. To optimize the business operation, it retrench 200employees and keep the remaining 800 employees. With this, the company will receive a subsidy of 12% of the salary for the remaining 800 employees and thereby enhance its profits. Therefore the Job credit scheme needs to be amended so that employers will not abuse it.
February 14, 2009 11:47 PM