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Hong Kong Lauches In-Depth Probe Into 50 Lehman Cases

by Mary Swire, Tax-News.com, Hong Kong

31 October 2008


The Hong Kong Consumer Council has launched comprehensive investigations into 50 complaints on Lehman Brothers-related products.

Its Consumer Legal Action Fund Management Committee Chairman Johannes Chan said that evidence would be collected and preliminary legal analysis undertaken.

The council has received 3,638 complaints and 1,388 enquiries on the products and has preliminarily screened more than 600 cases, selecting 50 for further processing.

"Selection criteria is primarily based on complainants' vulnerability, the cogency of evidence, inadequacy of risk disclosure, misrepresentation and other factors to see whether the litigations should be funded and assistance granted in the cases," he said.

The chosen cases involved more than 10 banks.

Chan said that due to the high number of cases, the council has commissioned part of the case load to qualified lawyers in private practice to screen cases, take out statements and prepare legal analysis.

He added that the management committee would hold a meeting to discuss strategic plans and how to handle the large number of applications.

On October 24, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority announced that it had referred 40 cases Lehman-related cases to the Securities and Futures Commission for further action. These cases involve complaints against two licensed banks' alleged misconduct concerning Lehman Brothers investment products.

Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy in the US in September. It is thought that the bank's exposure to the troubled US subprime mortgage market was the major factor behind its demise.


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