Ex-stockbroker sues Credit Suisse over $35m loss

A retired stockbroker from Malaysia who lost US$26 million (S$35.2 million) in investments with Credit Suisse during the 2008 financial crisis is suing the Singapore branch of the Swiss bank for breaching its duties to manage his private wealth account with care.

Mr Koh Kim Teck, 63, alleges that the bank had wrongly advised him to invest in high-risk structured products that were unsuitable for his objectives of wealth preservation.

He also alleges that it was unreasonable for the bank to give him only four hours' notice to top up an additional US$5.7 million in collateral before closing out his account, which resulted in the losses.

On Tuesday, the first day of a three-week trial, his lawyers, Senior Counsel Sarjit Singh Gill and Mr Edmund Eng, portrayed him as a man of substantial wealth who was relentlessly courted by bank employees pushing high-risk products.

Credit Suisse, represented by Senior Counsel Alvin Yeo and Ms Lim Wei Lee, contended that the losses were a consequence of Mr Koh's own investment decisions and the global financial crisis.

It said Mr Koh, who retired as the general manager of a prominent stockbroking company listed in Malaysia, was a sophisticated and savvy investor.

Credit Suisse contends that Mr Koh was actively managing the investments in the account, apart from a period in 2004 and 2005 when he was busy defending a criminal charge of murdering his teenage nephew in Malaysia.

Mr Koh was eventually acquitted at the trial.


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