Thursday, November 13, 2008

DBS blaming the wrong people

I'm sorry, but is it me who's missing the point here or the DBS bank (Singapore's largest bank)?

The front pager on The Straits Times on Wednesday said "DBS overhauls sales tactics" - "CUSTOMERS will be asked tough questions before investing".

Should not the customers be the ones asking the tough questions? And since many of the banks investors are pensioners who don't know two cents about how the financial market works, shouldn't the bank's buddies in these failed financial companies be the ones getting asked the tough questions?

The bank is shifting the blame on the customers for "ignorant" investment? Hello, but this is their hard earned savings you're talking about, which the bank just lost thanks to some great decision making.

The customers didn't lose their money because they made the wrong decision to trust Singapore's biggest and most reliable bank. They lost their money because THE BANK made the wrong decisions.

So why is the bank saying now that investors will be scrutinised for wanting to invest? It just doesn't make sense.

And given DBS's strict regulation, the source of investor's money is hardly a problem in this country. One could hardly spit in the streets without getting fined, much less invest money obtained by illegal means with the biggest bank of Singapore.

I'm thoroughly disappointed with the way the bank is handling this. And more so with The Straits Times for reporting this without any critical voices. The only people quoted in the article were DBS chairman and the chief executive officer of the securities investors association of Singapore - all in favour of the new "sales tactics".

Did the paper not think it necessary to get sentiments from 'the investor'?

I think we're putting the blame on the wrong people here and also asking the wrong questions. It's no use making sure customers read the summary sheet before they say yes they want to invest because reading it doesn't mean they understand what they are reading. And all this while, they've been trusting the bank sales personnel to be implicitly honest with them when explaining the returns and the risks of investing.

It's bad enough that the bank's gone and lost their customers' savings. The least they could do is not blame them for a mistake they didn't commit.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Just to say that I agree with your view point. There should be an option for potential customer to "grill" the bank with regards to the product or scheme and to get the bank or the RM to sign off what that customer's understanding of the product or scheme that is presented in his own words.