Elderly couple in Yuen Long allegedly misled by DBS bank manager, accidentally borrowed HK$3.5m instead of investing in fixed-term plan

The victim (left) appeared on Lilian Lui's (right) Youtube channel to elaborate on the incident.

21st November 2023 – (Hong Kong) An elderly couple in Yuen Long has reached out to popular influencer Lilian Lui Lai-hung for assistance, claiming that they were deceived by a bank manager allegedly working at DBS branch in Yuen Long. They believed they were investing HK$1.5 million in a fixed-term plan, only to discover that they had unknowingly borrowed HK$3.5 million from the bank to purchase a financing life insurance policy. Now, burdened with debt for the next 10 years and no income, they are required to make monthly repayments of HK$20,000.

DBS branch in Yuen Long

The victim, Mr. Chan, shared his entire suspicion of being scammed on a YouTube channel owned by Lilian Lui Lai-hung.

The incident took place in February 2021 when Mr. Chan met a female bank manager at a bank in Yuen Long.

“Due to my lack of medical insurance and old age,” said Mr. Chan, “I mentioned it to her (referring to the bank manager), and she seemed very helpful, so I considered it.” The bank manager later called him and said, “Come and see me, I have a better solution.” Subsequently, Mr. Chan met the bank manager, who told him that due to his age, he couldn’t purchase the intended plan but could opt for a higher-interest savings plan instead. Mr. Chan stated that the manager suggested a “special fixed-term interest scheme” to him.

According to Mr. Chan, the manager advised him that due to his age, “She said… let your wife buy it instead (referring to Mr. Chan’s wife), as she is younger than you… and we followed her advice.”

Mr. Chan followed the manager’s suggestion, and his wife purchased the “special fixed-term interest scheme.” He mentioned that they signed over 40 documents in the process.

Mr. Chan then handed over HK$1.5 million to the bank, thinking that he was investing in a similar fixed-term savings insurance plan that would yield monthly interest. However, it turned out that he had actually purchased a HK$5 million financing life insurance policy, with the HK$1.5 million serving as the initial payment.

Since the policy had a coverage amount of HK$5 million, after paying the initial HK$1.5 million, Mr. Chan also borrowed HK$3.5 million from the bank to purchase the 10-year financing life insurance policy.

After purchasing the policy, Mr. Chan has to repay the bank’s loan and interest over a 10-year period, with monthly repayments ranging from slightly over HK$10,000 to HK$20,000.

Mr. Chan admitted that he had no understanding of what a financing life insurance policy was, and the manager did not explain it to him either. “She said I would receive a sum of money the next day, which would be better than buying medical insurance,” he said.

Mr. Chan added, “I don’t know when I will receive it, and she didn’t explain clearly. She even told my wife that this policy is difficult to obtain, not everyone can buy it.”

The elderly couple has no income and only a small amount of savings. Approaching 80 years old, how were they able to successfully purchase a 10-year financing life insurance policy with a coverage amount of HK$5 million? Mr. Chan pointed out that during the application process, the manager taught him how to handle the review process. During the interview, Mr. Chan presented a bank document. It stated that both Mr. Chan and his wife have an average monthly income of HK$60,000. Their average monthly expenses amount to HK$50,000. The document showed that Mr. Chan’s wife has an average monthly savings of HK$10,000.
In addition, influencer Lui mentioned that Mr. Chan provided a bank document stating that he has HK$20 million in liquid assets.

After completing the application, Mr. Chan received a repayment letter from the bank, which indicated a sum of tens of thousands of dollars. He mistakenly believed it was the interest he was receiving, only to discover that it was the repayment amount.

“At first, I thought it was the interest generated from my savings, giving me some income. But it turned out that I had borrowed an additional HK$3.5 million from the bank, and now I have to repay it every month.”

“Where can I find such a large sum of money?”

“I don’t understand these things, I thought it was the interest they gave me,” Mr. Chan said. Initially, the interest was deducted.