The Minibond Compensation

DBS, pressured by MAS, is making promises of compensation to the retired and the needy who were “misled” into buying High Notes 5. I am trying to follow the topic as best as I can and the first thing that jumped out to me was that the government is caving in finally to public cries. DBS is also seeing this as an expensive publicity campaign of a people’s bank, something which it never really took on when POSB disappeared and appeared again years ago. It should be in DBS’ strategic interests to woo the public as Singaporeans would surely buy products via DBS and place their deposits there as a result from now on because of the expensive guarantee gestures by DBS. At the very least, DBS would be more stringent on its sales tactics in future as they would not want to repeat this costly buy-back exercise.

The obvious problem now to all is what is fair compensation since DBS might not compensate all, or compensation might not be enough, or compensation might not be in cash even. There will be hordes of minibond customers who would claim that they were misled into thinking that their structured products was as safe as a term deposit. DBS CEO Richard Stanley, who came over from Citigroup China early this year, has dark difficult weeks in front of him. What a tight thin line to balance to compensate and win hearts without digging deep into the purse. DBS shareholders might not be too happy.

The government is expected to use this DBS minibond fiasco as a perfect example that it listens to the people, which is not far from the truth frankly. I’m certain MAS would have stepped in eventually and it is just a matter of when. However, it is difficult to say but they might have acted slower if Tan Kin Lian from TOC had not gone on his song and dance routines at the Speakers’ Corner to lobby and lead a public-spirited cause.


5 responses

  1. zhong

    DBS should admit their mistake of mis-selling and compensate all the investors and move on. The further it drags on, the more damages to their reputation and their stock price will drop further. Because the end result will be NO BODY WILL TRUST DBS, in Singapore, in Asia and In THE WHOLE WORLD.

    October 26, 2008 at 10:23 am

  2. anon

    If DBS can’t even compensate 10,000 investors and move on, I am worried about its financial standing.

    Of course, it won’t fail since it is our “national bank” but when the time comes, it will sacrifice the retail customers like us if the current issue is any indicator.

    I for one think that DBS is going for a rough ride because the IR projects are going to drag it down for a while. Financing casinos in a world wide recession is a bottomless pit.

    October 29, 2008 at 6:26 am

  3. chemgen

    DBS now stated that the minibonds are worthless now. The investors who felt betrayed better have a good lawyer.

    October 30, 2008 at 6:14 pm

  4. Pingback: The Singapore Daily » Blog Archive » Weekly Roundup: Week 44

  5. “The government is expected to use this DBS minibond fiasco as a perfect example that it listens to the people, which is not far from the truth frankly.”

    Actually u r not wrong tat it’s not far from the Truth. But i hope pple will remember tat MAS’s action is In Action by asking Investors to Talk to FIs themselves.

    And also pls do not forget tat 5 weeks later still no MPs to front the issue.

    November 18, 2008 at 4:55 pm

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