Fri, Oct 24, 2008 - Page 11 News List

FSC supports the rescue of elderly ‘laymen’ investors

By Joyce Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) yesterday said that it fully respects the legislature’s resolution urging the commission to come to the rescue of structured notes investors aged 70 and above who are considered “financial laymen.”

The legislature cited a self-discipline principle, or the so-called “laymen clause,” approved by the Bankers’ Association of the ROC (銀行公會) in late April, to argue that banks shouldn’t sell highly leveraged and complicated financial products to clients over 70 years old unless they had signed consent letters.

The legislative resolution’s author, KMT Legislator Alex Fai (費鴻泰), yesterday asked the commission to detect and investigate flaws in the banks’ past selling procedures and, if found, banks should shoulder all responsibility and pay back the investors’ principles from investments linked to the failing Lehman Brothers.

In response, commission Vice Chairman Wu Tang-chieh (吳當傑) said that such disputes had to be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Banks found to have violated administrative regulations will pay for the investors’ losses, he said.

The commission yesterday approved a draft plan to set up a mechanism to review and approve the launch of structured notes to be implemented by December.

The financial products will be reviewed and approved by the Trust Association of the Republic of China (信託業公會).

The commission yesterday also decided to halve the NT$1 million threshold for banks reporting a receipt or payment, in accordance with anti-money laundering measures. The new threshold will take effect in January at the earliest.

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