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Thread: Citibank is unilaterally rasing the spread on its existing Sibor loan customers !

  1. #41
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    amk, any updates from your friend?
    no news about this case in the net for past few days.

  2. #42
    OCR properties going to crash!

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    Yah loh, so long still new news on newspapers? they don't want to report on such BIG NEWS?


    Quote Originally Posted by hopeful View Post
    amk, any updates from your friend?
    no news about this case in the net for past few days.

  3. #43
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    He told me he is in touch with a Straits Times reporter who is "researching" this case. Also, MAS replied to him saying it is instructing Citi to officially respond to him. However according to him, MAS said it had no power to do anything and told him to go FIDRec if he is not satisfied with Citi's response/explanation.

    I personally found it unacceptable the authority did not take the stand of helping consumers to fight the bank. Although I am not surprised: the IB CHF case, MAS also said cannot do anything; even in Lehman note case, DBS customer in HK got better compensated than DBS customer in Singapore because the regulator in HK forced all the banks to compensate.

  4. #44
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    So can we say MAS chief Tharman not doing a good job to protect consumers like us?

    This is especially when Singapore Media have been singing praises about how good Singapore government is compared to HK yet HK consumers are better protected by their Government than Singapore!


    Quote Originally Posted by amk View Post
    He told me he is in touch with a Straits Times reporter who is "researching" this case. Also, MAS replied to him saying it is instructing Citi to officially respond to him. However according to him, MAS said it had no power to do anything and told him to go FIDRec if he is not satisfied with Citi's response/explanation.

    I personally found it unacceptable the authority did not take the stand of helping consumers to fight the bank. Although I am not surprised: the IB CHF case, MAS also said cannot do anything; even in Lehman note case, DBS customer in HK got better compensated than DBS customer in Singapore because the regulator in HK forced all the banks to compensate.

  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by teddybear View Post
    So can we say MAS chief Tharman not doing a good job to protect consumers like us?
    ... kind of true. HKMA seems to have more teeth dealing with banks than MAS. Just a while ago, HSBC SG allowed unlicensed representatives to sell investment products to consumers, for that MAS just gave a "reprimand" :

    http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/bank...l-advisers-act

    now for this loan story, this is what the gov said a loan should be ,(of which ABS even has a Code of Consumer Banking Practice based on) :

    http://www.moneysense.gov.sg/~/media...ns_English.pdf

    in it, if you look at example 2b, it clearly says "discounts and premiums typically CANNOT be changed". (here the "discount"/"premium" refers to the spread over sibor). Only the "reference rate" can be changed.

    Can Citi blatantly ignore this Code of Practice, and get away with it ?

  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by teddybear View Post
    So can we say MAS chief Tharman not doing a good job to protect consumers like us?

    This is especially when Singapore Media have been singing praises about how good Singapore government is compared to HK yet HK consumers are better protected by their Government than Singapore!
    Really? Ask the mini bond buyers in SG and HK...

  7. #47
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    Ok, came out in mypaper: http://mypaper.sg/chinese-news/bu-fe...-chai-20150316

    部分银行调高浮动利率配套息差
    胡渊文

    随着本地基准利率上扬,有银行调整了浮动利率配套的息差(spread)。

    花旗银行日前通知现有客户,他们的房屋贷款SIBOR配套息差调高到0.85%(SIBOR+0.85%),据了解,一些客户原本的息差是0.70%(SIBOR+0.70%)。

    SIBOR是新元拆息率,指的是银行同业之间的借贷率。

    银行贷款的条款中允许银行调整利率,但几家受访的银行均表示,还未调整过SIBOR配套的息差。

    星展银行和渣打银行表示至今没有调整过。据悉,大华银行也从未调整过。

    花旗银行表示,上述的调整只有一小部分客户受到影响,银行是基于和客户的整体关系来进行评估,并给予客户足够的通知期。

    一名业内人士说,花旗银行调整息差,可能是反映了银行的商业成本。她说,新元银行同业拆息率是银行之间借贷的成本,是透明的,如果银行要赚取更多收入,只能调整息差。

    另一名银行业人士说,银行有权这么做,但通常不会调整现有客户的息差。

    本地经济师宋生文说,银行这么做可能是因为目前的利率环境特殊,要考虑到接下来更大的波动性。

    他说,本地的基准利率应该是和美国利率挂钩,但由于担心美国加息以及其他地区的经济情况,本地的利率率先走高了。

  8. #48
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    Google Translate:

    With the local benchmark interest rate rise, banks adjust the floating rate matching spreads (spread).

    Citibank recently notify existing customers, supporting their mortgage SIBOR spreads increase to 0.85% (SIBOR + 0.85%), it is understood that some customers had interest margin is 0.70% (SIBOR + 0.70%).

    SIBOR is SGD interbank rate refers to the borrowing rate between the interbank.

    In terms of bank loans allow banks to adjust interest rates, but several banks surveyed said yet adjusted spreads SIBOR supporting.

    DBS Bank and Standard Chartered Bank said that has not been adjusted. It is reported that UOB has never been adjusted.

    Citibank, said the adjustment is only a small part of the affected customers, the banks and the overall relationship is based on the customer to evaluate and give customers adequate notice period.

    An industry source said, Citibank adjust spreads, probably reflecting the bank's cost of doing business. She said SGD interbank interest rate is the cost of borrowing between banks is transparent, if the banks want to earn more income, only adjust interest rate differential.

    Another banking source said, banks have the right to do so, but usually do not adjust existing customer spreads.

    Local economist Songsheng Wen said the bank may do so because of the current interest rate environment, special consideration to the next greater volatility.

    He said the local benchmark interest rate and US interest rates should be linked, but the fear of the US economy to raise interest rates as well as other areas of local interest rates will move higher.

  9. #49
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    Why CASE chasing after those small case like "婚宴取消费无商量余地 消协:酒店业者对消费者不公平"?

    Shouldn't CASE come out tell all the banks that they all have similar clauses that they can unilaterally change the spread as "对消费者不公平"?!!!!!!!!!
    The SIBOR spread issue then is a big case because it affects almost 90% of all Singaporean property owners in Singapore!

    Citibank cannot honour their deal written in the main contract such as "SIBOR + 0.70%"? Nothing is written in the main contract saying they can change the figure "0.70%" right? Is Citibank going back on its contract and NOT HONOURING it by using those unfair terms written in their so-called T&Cs in small words and hence constitute attempt to cheat consumers while writing terms like "SIBOR + 0.70%" in main contract? If they are honorable, they should write "SIBOR + 0.70% subject to CITI adjustment"! Can CASE please make their stand loud and clear?

    The banking source is telling us a joke like: "Another banking source said, banks have the right to do so, but usually do not adjust existing customer spreads."
    Banks have the right to do so to adjust the spread figure? usually do not? The way they are telling us is like Banks are kind and charitable charitable organizations to their customers? Citibank has the right to adjust the spread to any figure?

    And worst of all, NO SOUND from MAS?
    Again, we can't rely on MAS to protect SG consumers just like Lehman note case when DBS HK customers are protected by HK MAS while SG MAS could not protect Singaporeans who are DBS SG customers?

    Quote Originally Posted by agentg View Post
    Google Translate:

    With the local benchmark interest rate rise, banks adjust the floating rate matching spreads (spread).

    Citibank recently notify existing customers, supporting their mortgage SIBOR spreads increase to 0.85% (SIBOR + 0.85%), it is understood that some customers had interest margin is 0.70% (SIBOR + 0.70%).

    SIBOR is SGD interbank rate refers to the borrowing rate between the interbank.

    In terms of bank loans allow banks to adjust interest rates, but several banks surveyed said yet adjusted spreads SIBOR supporting.

    DBS Bank and Standard Chartered Bank said that has not been adjusted. It is reported that UOB has never been adjusted.

    Citibank, said the adjustment is only a small part of the affected customers, the banks and the overall relationship is based on the customer to evaluate and give customers adequate notice period.

    An industry source said, Citibank adjust spreads, probably reflecting the bank's cost of doing business. She said SGD interbank interest rate is the cost of borrowing between banks is transparent, if the banks want to earn more income, only adjust interest rate differential.

    Another banking source said, banks have the right to do so, but usually do not adjust existing customer spreads.

    Local economist Songsheng Wen said the bank may do so because of the current interest rate environment, special consideration to the next greater volatility.

    He said the local benchmark interest rate and US interest rates should be linked, but the fear of the US economy to raise interest rates as well as other areas of local interest rates will move higher.


    2015年03月16日
    婚宴取消费无商量余地 消协:酒店业者对消费者不公平
    李蕙心  

    在酒店摆喜酒却因故取消,情侣须要付至少25%的取消费用,有的酒店即使在婚宴前8个月内接到通知,也要向情侣收取全额婚宴费用。

      新加坡消费者协会认为,酒店没有给予消费者商量的余地,对消费者不公平,并呼吁酒店业者调整相关条款。

      消协在过去4年接到23起关于酒店婚宴取消费用过高的投诉。一些投诉者指称,酒店收取百分百的婚宴费不合理。有人则投诉,有其他情侣接手婚宴配套,但酒店拒绝退还订金。

      大约九成的投诉获得解决,多数人成功索回部分退款或降低费用。

      一名不愿具名的投诉者因为个人原因无奈取消婚宴,不仅3000元的订金泡汤,酒店还要求她支付全数2万多元的婚宴配套。经过一番商讨,对方同意只收一半的价钱,但投诉者仍觉得代价太大。

      消协较早前向本地100家酒店发出调查问卷,希望了解各大酒店的取消费细节,但只有18家回复。

      消协昨天公布调查结果,多数受访酒店表示不会退回订金,另外还会根据取消的原因,来决定是否会收取消费以及费用的额度。

      一家酒店的条款显示,距离婚宴日期前的12个至16个月之间取消婚宴,取消费是配套价格的50%。若酒店在8个至12个月内接到通知,消费者须付75%。若是在8个月内,就必须交付全额收费。

      如果男女任何一方或直系亲属过世,多数酒店将免去取消费,或只收取部分费用或允许延期。

    近期内与业者商讨
    消协拟制定取消费准则
    消协会长林谋泉昨早在F1维修大楼举行的消协竞走活动受访时说,许多消费者在签约时都不想取消婚礼,也不注意取消费细节。酒店收取高额取消费并不合理。

      酒店可能觉得,消费者预定了酒店场地办婚宴,以致酒店得回拒其他打算在同一天摆喜酒的人。如果距婚宴日期还有很长的一段时间,难道酒店真的找不到其他客户代替?

      据知,本地人一般会在婚礼一年前预订婚宴配套,著名酒店更是抢手,往往备有等候名单。

      担任竞走活动嘉宾的国会议长哈莉玛指出,酒店的取消费机制欠缺透明,对消费者也不公平。

      她说:消费者没有讨价还价的机会,如果他们很想在结婚旺季如12月办婚宴,他们必须答应酒店的条件,否则就得放弃预定场地。

      消协将在近期内同新加坡酒店协会商讨,制定一套取消费准则的可能性。

      林谋泉呼吁酒店业者同消协合作,提供取消费细节。他也希望能与业者达成共识,如果酒店不合作并坚持收取不合理的费用,消协将考虑采取法律行动。

      消协官方网站将在近期内发表受访酒店的取消费细节。

      新加坡酒店协会发言人说,来不及在昨天截稿前回复。记者联系的数家酒店也以星期天不办公为由,无法回应。




  10. #50
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    Haiz this reporter is extremely useless. He failed to mention the most critical part : citi sold the mortgage as "throughout spread", and yet it changed it ! This report made it sound like bank adjusting spread is a normal business , and yes, as teddy put it, almost like bank adjusting spread is "normal", not adjusting is doing customer a favor ! It should have highlighted the fact that citi did not honour the term !

    The most ridiculous part of this report is this : "as SIBOR is transparent fixing rate, bank cannot adjust this rate, so bank has to adjust the spread". SIBOR being transparent is the exact reason why customers take up SIBOR packages, so the bank CANNOT anyhow change its reference rates ! If a bank can change the rate no matter what, then it might as well dun sell any number, just simply say " the mortgage rate shall be whichever number we think reasonable". And see if citi can sell any mortgage with that !

    I think CASE is not sufficient. It's the MAS that should step in. This is public interest. Citi cannot be allowed to set such precedent. No other bank has ever done this.

    In fact it is also unfair to other banks. Citi effectively attract customers from other banks by, effectively cheating. Although I can imagine other banks will love to see this incident go unnoticed, so they can feel free to do the same next time.

  11. #51
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    Same view here.
    If CITI can get away with this, we will soon see other banks following suit!
    Most didn't for now because they know "it constitutes unfair" and "cheating" and dishonourable for invoking some T&Cs in small prints that contradicts what they agreed to in MAIN CONTRACT (in bigger fonts)! As far as I know, in all other well regulated and law-abiding countries, they have strong consumer protection to protect consumers against unfair and cheating practice such as this one, and hence the MAIN CONTRACT (in big fonts) is considered the main legal document, and companies (and banks etc) can embed all kinds of terms and conditions in their accompanying T&C document (usually very wordy and in smaller fonts) but as it is T&Cs, it means they cannot contradict the BIG FONTs in MAIN CONTRACT and these contradicting T&Cs cannot stand up to challenge!

    Even the calculation of SGD SIBOR is already full of loopholes and easy to manipulate by the banks, and now CITI want to play cheat to invoke small font T&Cs and dishonour their MAIN CONTRACT agreed terms?

    MAS still not doing anything?
    Good, at least we know General Election is coming and we should know what to do!


    Quote Originally Posted by amk View Post
    Haiz this reporter is extremely useless. He failed to mention the most critical part : citi sold the mortgage as "throughout spread", and yet it changed it ! This report made it sound like bank adjusting spread is a normal business , and yes, as teddy put it, almost like bank adjusting spread is "normal", not adjusting is doing customer a favor ! It should have highlighted the fact that citi did not honour the term !

    The most ridiculous part of this report is this : "as SIBOR is transparent fixing rate, bank cannot adjust this rate, so bank has to adjust the spread". SIBOR being transparent is the exact reason why customers take up SIBOR packages, so the bank CANNOT anyhow change its reference rates ! If a bank can change the rate no matter what, then it might as well dun sell any number, just simply say " the mortgage rate shall be whichever number we think reasonable". And see if citi can sell any mortgage with that !

    I think CASE is not sufficient. It's the MAS that should step in. This is public interest. Citi cannot be allowed to set such precedent. No other bank has ever done this.

    In fact it is also unfair to other banks. Citi effectively attract customers from other banks by, effectively cheating. Although I can imagine other banks will love to see this incident go unnoticed, so they can feel free to do the same next time.

  12. #52
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    Why should MAS be taking action?

  13. #53
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    You are asking a question similar to other people asking why MAS need to maintain a "Investor Alert List" right?

    The case sounds like a case of dishonesty, dishonouring the main mortgage loan agreement that clearing states "SIBOR + 0.70%" and they unilaterally want to now charge their customers an interest rate of "SIBOR + 0.85%" right?

    So we need MAS to clarify: Does Citibank has the right to unilaterally change the property loan interest rate charged from "SIBOR + 0.70%" (as stated in their agreed mortgage loan agreement") to "SIBOR + 0.85%" and in the process dishonouring the main contract agreed term? Remember, this case has been brought to their attention and they can't act blur as though they don't know right?



    Quote Originally Posted by hopeful View Post
    Why should MAS be taking action?

  14. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by hopeful View Post
    Why should MAS be taking action?
    alamak MAS got to at least *pretend* to be "maintaining the integrity of financial system"

  15. #55
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    i think sanctity of the contract is of upmost importance, and that is maintaining the integrity of the financial system, hence the reason for MAS "inaction" in both minibonds and this citibank case. Both are made on willing buyer willing seller basis. No pressure sales tactic involved.

    i am most interested in the sengkang columbarium case, given khaw explanation, how a commercial party run a non-commercial temple/columbarium etc

  16. #56
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    It appears that sanctity of the contract of utmost importance to you but not to Citibank since in the case we heard, Citibank has mortgage loan agreement that states that interest charged will be "SIBOR + 0.70%" but now Citibank is unilaterally changing to "SIBOR + 0.85%" right?

    Also, willing buyer and willing seller inked contract saying "SIBOR + 0.70%", how come seller can now unilaterally change to "SIBOR + 0.85%"?

    Calling Citibank, we are giving you a chance to clarify on the above (in case we got the facts wrong)!



    Quote Originally Posted by hopeful View Post
    i think sanctity of the contract is of upmost importance, and that is maintaining the integrity of the financial system, hence the reason for MAS "inaction" in both minibonds and this citibank case. Both are made on willing buyer willing seller basis. No pressure sales tactic involved.

    i am most interested in the sengkang columbarium case, given khaw explanation, how a commercial party run a non-commercial temple/columbarium etc

  17. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by teddybear View Post
    It appears that sanctity of the contract of utmost importance to you but not to Citibank since in the case we heard, Citibank has mortgage loan agreement that states that interest charged will be "SIBOR + 0.70%" but now Citibank is unilaterally changing to "SIBOR + 0.85%" right?

    Also, willing buyer and willing seller inked contract saying "SIBOR + 0.70%", how come seller can now unilaterally change to "SIBOR + 0.85%"?

    Calling Citibank, we are giving you a chance to clarify on the above (in case we got the facts wrong)!
    did you read the terms and conditions? i will repost the link.
    https://www.citibank.com.sg/global_d...pa/hms_tnc.pdf

    the mortgagee and mortgagor signed a contract, which has a clause specifying that the bank has the right to change the tenure, spread, call back the loan etc.
    by signing the contract, the mortgagee infact agreed that the bank can unilaterally change the tenure, spread etc.
    The T&C documents are publicly available, doesnt take more than a minute to google it.

    AMK's stance is citibank is legally right, but morally wrong.
    Teddy, is your stance citibank is legally wrong? yes/no ?

  18. #58
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    Wah, the words so small, I can't even read it!
    But hei, this is the Terms & Conditions document, the mortgagee didn't sign it!
    For example, in my case, I NEVER sign it!
    I only sign the main mortgage loan agreement (on all pages), which is pretty standard across all banks, which usually say something like:
    Year 1: 3M-SIBOR + 0.65%
    Year 2: 3M-SIBOR + 0.65%
    Year 3 and thereafter: 3M-SIBOR + 0.75%


    So, it is clear that from Year 3 and thereafter, the interest that the bank agreed to charge is "3M-SIBOR + 0.75%"!

    My own opinion is that Citibank's stance cannot stand up to challenge legally, because clauses in T&C document that the mortgagee didn't sign (and hence did not explicitly agree) cannot be used to over-rule the terms agreed in the main contract signed by both parties - if the said mortgagee's situation is as I described above.

    However, I suppose the bank in question is taking the view that because the number of affected customers is probably small, and there is no class action law in Singapore, they do so secretly on the sly and hopefully MAS and CASE will not know and/or do anything, and at the end the small flies will not have the muscle to take them on and they can get away with it? There is another factor, which is that they probably think many of these people probably cannot switch to other banks because of failing TDSR etc imposed by MAS?

    Thus, it is all the more important that MAS and CASE step in to protect the consumers from being bullied by the Gorilla!

    Think about it, if today this bank is allowed to do so by MAS and CASE (both keeping quiet), then tomorrow other banks can do it!

    Such catch-all clauses in terms and conditions (regardless of being signed by the consumers or not) are common ONLY in countries like Singapore where is no strong consumer protection laws!
    Soon, we will see telcos also exercising some clauses in their small-font wordy T&Cs to change their monthly charges/or bill rates/or free-talk-time or free-bandwidth space allocated for internet and phone services within penalty lock-in period (happened before! who remember what is outcome of that case?), then utilities, then big service companies etc etc?

    If there is no action against the bank in question by the relevant government bodies, then are they telling us by their actions that they do not care about protecting the right and fair interest of the Singaporeans?

    Quote Originally Posted by hopeful View Post
    did you read the terms and conditions? i will repost the link.
    https://www.citibank.com.sg/global_d...pa/hms_tnc.pdf

    the mortgagee and mortgagor signed a contract, which has a clause specifying that the bank has the right to change the tenure, spread, call back the loan etc.
    by signing the contract, the mortgagee infact agreed that the bank can unilaterally change the tenure, spread etc.
    The T&C documents are publicly available, doesnt take more than a minute to google it.

    AMK's stance is citibank is legally right, but morally wrong.
    Teddy, is your stance citibank is legally wrong? yes/no ?

  19. #59
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    This is in today's zaobao :

    http://www.zaobao.com/finance/singap...0150318-458229

    this writeup is much more reasonable.

  20. #60
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    To add to my comments below, I refer you to today's news article on what constitute 'unfair practices' in the Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act:

    "the Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act states that even if the consumer had entered into a written agreement with such terms with the hotel (ignorantly or carelessly), such an agreement can be challenged in court by the consumer suing the hotel on the grounds that it is an "unfair practice".
    One of the "unfair practices" specified in this Act is "taking advantage of a consumer by including in an agreement terms or conditions that are harsh, oppressive or excessively one-sided so as to be unconscionable".
    "





    The Straits Times
    www.straitstimes.comPublished on Mar 18, 2015

    Recourse for consumers over 'unfair practices'


    CONSUMERS do have some legal recourse over unfair practices by businesses ("Case looks into wedding banquet cancellation fees"; Monday).
    Speaker of Parliament Halimah Yacob cited the case of a couple who had to pay half the cost of the wedding banquet, despite cancelling their booking a year before the wedding. This is clearly exorbitant and punitive, which is not allowed by the law.
    If the hotel wants the couple to pay half of the banquet cost, it must be able to prove in court that it has suffered such actual damages (amounting to half the cost).
    Since the cancellation notice was given a year in advance, it is hard to imagine how the hotel could have suffered a loss of such an amount.
    Furthermore, the Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act states that even if the consumer had entered into a written agreement with such terms with the hotel (ignorantly or carelessly), such an agreement can be challenged in court by the consumer suing the hotel on the grounds that it is an "unfair practice".
    One of the "unfair practices" specified in this Act is "taking advantage of a consumer by including in an agreement terms or conditions that are harsh, oppressive or excessively one-sided so as to be unconscionable".
    Tan Sin Liang
    Copyright 2015 Singapore Press Holdings.



    Quote Originally Posted by teddybear View Post
    Wah, the words so small, I can't even read it!
    But hei, this is the Terms & Conditions document, the mortgagee didn't sign it!
    For example, in my case, I NEVER sign it!
    I only sign the main mortgage loan agreement (on all pages), which is pretty standard across all banks, which usually say something like:
    Year 1: 3M-SIBOR + 0.65%
    Year 2: 3M-SIBOR + 0.65%
    Year 3 and thereafter: 3M-SIBOR + 0.75%


    So, it is clear that from Year 3 and thereafter, the interest that the bank agreed to charge is "3M-SIBOR + 0.75%"!

    My own opinion is that Citibank's stance cannot stand up to challenge legally, because clauses in T&C document that the mortgagee didn't sign (and hence did not explicitly agree) cannot be used to over-rule the terms agreed in the main contract signed by both parties - if the said mortgagee's situation is as I described above.

    However, I suppose the bank in question is taking the view that because the number of affected customers is probably small, and there is no class action law in Singapore, they do so secretly on the sly and hopefully MAS and CASE will not know and/or do anything, and at the end the small flies will not have the muscle to take them on and they can get away with it? There is another factor, which is that they probably think many of these people probably cannot switch to other banks because of failing TDSR etc imposed by MAS?

    Thus, it is all the more important that MAS and CASE step in to protect the consumers from being bullied by the Gorilla!

    Think about it, if today this bank is allowed to do so by MAS and CASE (both keeping quiet), then tomorrow other banks can do it!

    Such catch-all clauses in terms and conditions (regardless of being signed by the consumers or not) are common ONLY in countries like Singapore where is no strong consumer protection laws!
    Soon, we will see telcos also exercising some clauses in their small-font wordy T&Cs to change their monthly charges/or bill rates/or free-talk-time or free-bandwidth space allocated for internet and phone services within penalty lock-in period (happened before! who remember what is outcome of that case?), then utilities, then big service companies etc etc?

    If there is no action against the bank in question by the relevant government bodies, then are they telling us by their actions that they do not care about protecting the right and fair interest of the Singaporeans?

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