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A Tale of Two Cities- Response to Structured Deposit Fiasco by Singapore and Hong Kong


lehman The Lehman Brothers collapse triggered a world wide crisis of confidence in financial institutions. It also made the structured deposits that investors had placed their money in became worthless overnight.

Recently, the monetary authorities in both Singapore and Hong Kong made clear what sort of compensation the investors were going to get.

Throughout the investigation process, the Hong Kong people, who inherited a basic British democracy like Singapore, demonstrated on the streets in a peaceful and massive way. This almost constant pressure and public limelight made the issue a festering wound that needed to be resolved quickly and fairly.

In stark contrast, Singapore's strictly enforced no public demonstrations, no public assembly laws meant a comparatively muted response to this issue. Even though the same sort of retirees with large amounts of banks deposits invested in these 'safe' investments lost their entire retirement savings to the fraudulently named 'minibonds', 'high notes'.

What sort of recompense did these investors or rather victims gain?


  Singapore Hong Kong
Total loss by investors S$ 508 million US$ 1.8 billion
Total refund pledged by banks S$ 105 million US$ 813 million
% refunded to investor 20.6% 45.17%
Average refund by each investor 32.2% 70% for over 65 years old
60% for those younger
Salary of Prime Minister S$ 3.04 million a year S$ 815,670
Salary of Finance Minister S$ 1.57 million a year unknown
GDP (2008 Figures) US$ 240 billion US$ 293.311 billion

Based on the total refund over total loss figures, the Singapore banks refund a measly 20.6% over the 45.17% by Hong Kong banks which is a figure almost reaching half of the investors total loss. Both countries promised a 100% return for retirees who were uneducated and persuaded into investing into the structured deposit by unscrupulous bank staff hankering after commission.

For further comparison purposes, we show the salaries of the two leaders of government and that of the Singapore financial guru and we can see a huge disparity between the pay of the two city states even though both states managed about the same size of the GDP.

Clearly, a working democracy with clear choices, the ability to congregate and freely express one's view matters in episodes where the state does not or cannot adequately act in their citizen's interests.











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The information contained in this blog is prepared from data believed to be correct and reliable at the time of publication of this report. The authors do not make any guarantee or representation as to the adequacy, accuracy, completeness, reliability of the information contained herein. Neither the authors or any affiliates or related persons shall be liable for any consequences (direct or indirect losses, loss of profits and damages) of any
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