September 23, 2008

inSingapore: DBS High Notes – have we been too passive?

Posted in Musings tagged , , , , , , at 8:29 am by myrlinn

I wrote this back in May:

In the past, we may have looked to banks as trusted custodians of our savings. Today, with banks turning more towards aggressively selling different types of products, it may be wise to remember… BUYER BEWARE. (from inSingapore: No Credit to Banks)

Even then, I was thinking that many banks have crossed the line when marketing their products.

In the wake of the DBS High Notes issue (where investors claimed that the product was sold to them as a low-risk product, and now they may lose a very substantial proportion of that investment due to the collapse of Lehman), I wrote a more detailed piece with my thoughts on the way banks today are marketing their financial products on Hubpages: Don’t bank on your bank’s sales pitch.

This morning I woke up wondering:

Could consumers like me have done more to highlight the problems with the way banks are marketing financial products?  Have we been too passive? Should we have done more than roll our eyes at some of the products being marketed and the ways they were marketed?

I believe now that we should have, even if no one would listen (They wouldn’t have, not when things are going along fine, and they are making money).  The disjunction between claims that they were offering financial planning and the way products were being pushed was just too great, and has been so for a number of years. When investment products started being pushed aggressively in neighbourhood shopping centres, that’s when the alarm should have been raised.

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