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Buyers of Lehman products should check with banks


October 27, 2008

Singapore PM: Buyers of Lehman products should check with banks
Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has spoken for the first time on the issue of investors who have lost money over the Lehman structured products sold in Singapore, reported Channel News Asia, the city-state broadcaster on its website.

Lee was quoted as saying that where there has been mis-selling or less than professional behaviour by banks' relationship managers, the banks have to do what is right. He said he believes the banks are fully capable of resolving the issue.

Lee was speaking to reporters in the western Chinese city of Xi'an where he wrapped up his five-day visit to China.

"I think we have to look at the circumstances of the people who have lost money with minibonds or High Notes......where there has been mis-selling, it has to be put right; where there has been less than professional behaviour by the relationship managers, or it doesn't measure up to the standards that MAS expects when you promote the financial product or when you advise somebody what to buy, then the banks have to do what's the right thing to do."

He feels the banks and financial institutions have every incentive to make sure their customers are treated fairly.

He added, even if investors are not happy with the banks' process, they can go to FIDRec, the Financial Industry Disputes Resolution Centre. And if they are still unhappy, they can go to the courts.

The government's role, he noted, is to make sure that the financial system proceeds fairly and properly, not to guarantee the outcome but to make sure that its people know what they are doing. For the investors, this would mean that they are properly educated and understand the products they buy and their rights as consumers.

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