The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) announced today (Friday) that there are currently 667 Lehman-Brothers-related cases under disciplinary consideration. These are cases which have gone through detailed investigation by the HKMA.
"A number of cases are at a very advanced stage of the enforcement process. Before making a final determination in these cases, we have to go through due process to ensure fairness, including giving the subjects of investigation an opportunity to be heard," said by an HKMA spokesperson.
Since 17 October 2008 the HKMA has referred a total of 482 Lehman-Brothers-related cases (unchanged from last week), involving 16 banks, to the SFC for further action. These cases have been reviewed by the HKMA, which has determined that there are sufficient grounds for referring them to the SFC to facilitate its investigations into banks.
The HKMA has, up to 25 June 2009, received 21,343 complaints concerning Lehman-Brothers-related products, of which 21,142 complaints have gone through the preliminary assessment process. As a result of the assessment, the HKMA is currently investigating 6,245 cases and seeking further information on 12,899 cases. A total of 1,331 complaints have been closed as there was no sufficient prima facie evidence found after the preliminary assessment process or no sufficient grounds and evidence found after the detailed investigation (A table summarising the complaints received so far is attached). "The closure of these cases will not affect the top-down investigations being undertaken by the SFC at the bank level," the HKMA spokesperson said.
Commenting separately on voluntary settlements between banks and their customers, the HKMA spokesperson said that, according to figures collected by the HKMA from the distributing banks, up to 17 June 2009, a total of 7,179 cases involving Lehman-Brothers-related products have resulted, or will soon result, in voluntary settlement, including compensation either in part or in full, between the customers and the banks concerned. Of these voluntary settlements, 5,510 cases have already been concluded. Discussions about settlements are in progress in the remaining 1,669 further cases. The spokesperson said that, 2,689 of the settlement cases involve elderly customers. This compares with a total of 3,544 complaints received by the HKMA in relation to elderly customers.
"While the HKMA welcomes settlements between banks and complainants, its investigations into allegations of mis-selling will not be closed simply because of settlements or withdrawals of complaint cases. The HKMA will, regardless of any terms of a settlement, continue its investigation into cases where evidence of mis-selling is revealed." the spokesperson added.
For further enquiries, please contact:
Thomas Chan, Communications Chief, at 2878 1480 or
Peggy Lo, Manager (Communications), at 2878 1687
Hong Kong Monetary Authority
26 June 2009