UBS is in trouble again. This time for inducing a 77 year old Hong Kong woman who doesn’t speak English and who never finished primary school to sign documents in English, one making her a "professional investor" under SEC regulations. They sold her an equity accumulator – a very complicated contract not unlike the fancy derivatives that caused this year’s financial crisis. She lost $25.8 million.
Melly Alazfaki writes for Daily Finance:
"Banks and businesses have one incentive: to increase their own profit. They can confuse the issue and offer as convoluted products/payment system as they want, but at the end of the day, their goal is their own bottom line. Consequently, when a bank pushes a product, it is doing so out of an attempt to gain money, not because it loves its customers.
If something is too complicated and cannot be properly explained by bank advisers, or understood by clients, why enter into such agreements? Notwithstanding possible negligence by the bank in this case as alleged by the suit, greed can often lead us to make the wrong choices. Chan, a woman who has accumulated millions through "hard work," should have known better — nothing is ever free and greed rarely pays."