In one of the more insane ruling by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the MAS recently banned 10 financial institutions in Singapore from selling structured notes for periods ranging from 6 months to 2 years.
The ruling is insane because the bans were supposed to be punishments for the structured notes fiasco last year. However it’s hard to imagine how this ban is punishment when there is almost no Singaporean who would want to buy structured notes at this point of time. What’s the use of banning financial institutions from selling something no one is buying? Only the MAS can answer that question.
However one good thing that has come out of the ban is that it kick start some investors to file a class action lawsuit. 204 investors has filed a lawsuit against DBS in a bid to recover losses of around S$17 million due to the collapse of Lehman Brothers. I wish the investors good luck because they are going to need it.
Frankly I just cannot see how any ruling in Singapore will favor the small investors over the big financial institutions in Singapore. Unlike Hong Kong where small investors got a favorable outcome, I just cannot see that happening in pro-business Singapore. One only has to look at the history of class action lawsuits in Singapore to see why. What’s more they are going after DBS, which is like Singapore’s national bank!
Again I wish the investors good luck, but I’m not holding my breath