Standard Chartered wins S’pore investment suit dismissal

Andrea Tan

Standard Chartered Plc won dismissal of a Singapore lawsuit by four persons claiming the bank misled them into buying certain investment products after a judge ruled there was a risk the trial may not be fair.

Singapore High Court Judge Tay Yong Kwang took the “draconian measure” of throwing out the complaint by Lee Chang Rung and three of his relatives, according to the Sept. 17 ruling made public today. Lee, his brother, sister and brother- in-law concealed certain documents including not fully disclosing their previous investments in structured products to gain an “unfair tactical advantage,” Tay said.

The group claimed they were conservative investors who placed most of their money with American Express Bank Ltd. in fixed deposits. Lee and the others claimed that American Express, which has since been acquired by Standard Chartered, misrepresented that the investments they bought were safe and had guaranteed returns.

Lee and the other three complainants are appealing the decision, Tay said in his ruling.

“There is a serious risk that a fair trial may not be possible in the light of the hide and seek strategy adopted,” Tay said, adding there was no indication the claim against the bank will be pursued “honestly and fairly.”

Leonard Loo appeared for the group and Hri Kumar from Drew & Napier LLC represented Standard Chartered.

The case is Lee Chang Rung v. Standard Chartered Bank S212/2009 in the Singapore High Court.

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