Pham Doan, a vendor in a traditional market in HCMC, is suing Saigon Joint Stock Commercial Bank (SCB) and Tan Viet Securities for allegedly tricking her into investing in bonds.
She wants the District 1 People’s Court to revoke four contracts she signed with Tan Viet Securities and order it and SCB to return VND800 million ($33,720) she had deposited in the latter.
According to her plaint, she had been led to believe by the defendants she was putting her money in a deposit-like product, and did not know she was buying bonds.
The 44-year-old said she was a small vendor without a regular income and for years had savings accounts at SCB.
In August last year a bank employee had told her about “another product that is similar to deposits but better.”
She had told her it carried an interest rate of 8%, and customers could withdraw the money with interest any time after 31 days.
When she told the employee the money was her lifetime savings and she did not want to take risks, she had merely been assured there would be no problem without further explanation.
She then signed the contracts.
When she tried to get her money, she realized for the first time there were no deposits and she had instead bought bonds issued by An Dong Investment Corp, a company that partnered with client of Tan Viet Securities.
“I was tricked into signing the four contracts.”
Besides, the contracts did not state that An Dong was the seller but instead had Tan Viet’s name on them.
Tan Viet did not have the authority to sell them to her.
Tan Viet said it had appointed staff to deal with the lawsuit but refused to comment further, claiming it had not seen the complaints and documents Doan filed.
An Dong is a subsidiary of Van Thinh Phat, whose chairwoman Truong My Lan and other related people were arrested last October for alleged fraud related to the issuance of bonds worth trillions of dong (VND1 trillion = $40.21 million).
SCB, amalgamated by three banks, began official operations in January 2012. It is the biggest private bank by assets.
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