HSBC Sued by Singapore Billionaire Peter Lim’s Ex-Wife; HSBC “was always eager, motivated by their own commercial interests and/or financial benefits” to persuade her to buy products including accumulators, decumulators and equity-linked notes

HSBC Sued by Singapore Billionaire Lim’s Ex-Wife

HSBC Holdings Plc was sued by Singaporean billionaire Peter Lim’s ex-wife, who claimed she suffered losses because of the bank’s negligence.

Teo Geok Fong, who started investing with private banks after her divorce settlement in 2002, claims she was misled into believing certain products were suitable for her risk profile, according to her lawsuit filed against HSBC’s Singapore unit. The London-based bank has denied wrongdoing.

HSBC “was always eager, motivated by their own commercial interests and/or financial benefits” to persuade her to buy products including accumulators, decumulators and equity-linked notes, according to Teo’s complaint filed in the Singapore High Court. The homemaker with high-school education trusted her banker’s advice, she said in the complaint.

“Our client is pursuing this action rigorously in the courts and expects a favorable outcome,” Teo’s lawyer Eugene Thuraisingam said in an e-mail today.

HSBC, Europe’s largest bank, asked the court to dismiss Teo’s lawsuit, according to its defense filed last month. Gareth Hewett, a Hong Kong-based spokesman at HSBC, declined to comment on the lawsuit.

Teo presented herself as a sophisticated and experienced investor and stated she had at least five other private bank accounts, according to HSBC’s filing. As her portfolio grew, so did her risk appetite and she alone was responsible for her investments, HSBC said.

‘Remisier King’

Teo received as much as S$50 million ($39 million) from her divorce settlement with Lim, who’s also known as “Remisier King,” HSBC said in court papers. In 2006, Teo told her other bankers to deliver S$500,000 profits a year on her individual accounts, according to court papers.

Lim offered to buy Valencia soccer club, a two-time Champions League finalist, last year. In 2010, he offered 320 million pounds ($525 million) to buy Premier League team Liverpool, which was eventually acquired by the Boston Red Sox’s owner-group.

Lim, a former stockbroker, became a billionaire through holdings in palm oil producers and a chain of Manchester United cafes in Asia.

The case is Teo Geok Fong v The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corp., Singapore Branch. S1105/2013. Singapore High Court.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrea Tan in Singapore at

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (, the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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