Almost one year after the issue was first reported in the newspapers, Securities Investors Association Singapore (SIAS) is finally taking action to assist investors who have invested in the land banking company Profitable Plots.
Profitable Plots is currently being investigated by the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) for suspected fraud. Some 4000 investors have invested over $23.5m in the various investment products offered by Profitable Plots. Of this group, 1500 are local investors but the amount invested by them is unclear.
SIAS is a non-profit organisation formed to lobby for the rights of individual retail investors. They were known for helping to resolve the CLOB shares impasse when the Malaysian shares of Singaporean investors were stuck in limbo during the late 1990s.
I take my hat off to the folks who have worked tirelessly behind the scenes the past year, to lobby the lobby group which is supposed to represent them for help.
As a country aspiring to be a regional financial hub, we are still lacking in consumer protection for investment products compared to other countries like Hong Kong. Hopefully the scale of this incident will have alerted the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to the need for greater protection of consumer rights.