The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) announced today (Friday) that there were 765 Lehman-Brothers-related non-minibond complaint cases which are under disciplinary consideration after detailed investigation by the HKMA, and there was a Lehman-Brothers-related non-minibond complaint case in which the relevant individual concerned has been disciplined after completion of the disciplinary process.
Up till now, the HKMA has referred a total of 334 Lehman-Brothers-related non-minibond cases to the Securities and Futures Commission (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 3 December 2009, received 21,762 complaints concerning Lehman-Brothers-related products, of which 7,731 relate to non-minibond products. Of the Lehman-Brothers-related non-minibond complaints, 7,720 cases have gone through the preliminary assessment process and, as a result, the HKMA is currently investigating 3,103 cases and seeking further information on 1,246 cases. A total of 2,605 Lehman-Brothers-related non-minibond complaints have been closed as there was not sufficient prima facie evidence found after the preliminary assessment process or no sufficient grounds and evidence found after detailed investigations. A total of 765 Lehman-Brothers-related non-minibond complaint cases have led to, and are still under, disciplinary consideration and disciplinary action has been taken in respect of one case.
Of the minibond complaints, 13,114 cases are eligible for the Lehman-Brothers Minibonds Repurchase Scheme ("the Scheme") or the voluntary offer made by the distributing banks to customers with whom they had reached settlements before the Scheme was introduced. Eight hundred and ninety-six minibond complaints involving customers who are not eligible for, or have indicated that they do not accept, the repurchase offer under the Scheme or whose cases require clarification from the banks will continue to be handled by the HKMA if the complaints cannot be resolved by the enhanced complaint handling system introduced by the distributing banks as agreed by the regulators. (A table summarising the Lehman-Brothers-related complaints received so far is attached.)
Since 7 August 2009, 16 minibond distributing banks have begun the issue of repurchase offer letters to eligible customers (about 25,000 customers) under the Scheme. Up to 2 December 2009, 24,669 customers have responded to the repurchase offers, of whom 24,399 customers or 98.9% have accepted the offers. As of 30 November 2009, for customers who had accepted the offer, 99.97% of them already received payment from the banks concerned, while the remaining payments will be settled soon (in any case no later than 30 days after having received the duly completed acceptance forms from these customers). Separately, about 4,800 customers who had reached settlements with the banks prior to the introduction of the Scheme are eligible for the voluntary offer made by the banks, with a view to bringing them in line with the eligible customers who accept the repurchase offer under the Scheme. For customers whose previous settlement amount was less than 60% (for customers aged below 65) or 70% (for customers aged 65 or above) of the principal invested, 99.5% had already received top-up payments from the banks concerned on 30 November 2009.
A set of questions and answers has been prepared to provide further details on the Scheme. It can be found at http://www.hkma.gov.hk/eng/other-information/lehman.shtml.
For further enquiries, please contact:
Alice Lo, Communications Chief, at 2878 1480 or
Natalie Wu, Officer (Communications), at 2878 8246
Hong Kong Monetary Authority
4 December 2009