Since 17 October 2008, the HKMA has referred a total of 238 cases involving complaints of alleged misconduct in respect of investment products relating to Lehman Brothers to the SFC for its further action. The HKMA has received 19699 complaints concerning Lehman-Brothers-related products. Apart from the 238 cases referred to above, the HKMA has formally opened investigations on 4346 complaints and is currently seeking further information on 13614 complaints. The most generic complaints were:
- Misrepresentation - the investment products were wrongly presented as a low risk alternative to deposits and that the risks and complexity were not properly explained;
- Complexity - the products were too complex and risk disclosures were ineffective in alerting investors; and
- Suitability - that as a result of (1) and (2) above, and the failure of brokers and banks to do proper customer due diligence, inexperienced retail investors were left holding products not suitable to their investment profile.