In Singapore, cases heard include that of businessman Oei Hong Leong, who lost an eye-popping $1 billion on foreign exchange and US Treasury bond transactions in 2008. He sued Citigroup's private banking arm in 2009 for negligence and misrepresentation. The case was ultimately settled out of court, with Mr Oei saying that he would continue to work with the bank again.
Most recently, prominent Taiwanese scientist Chang Tse Wen brought a suit against Deutsche Bank in the High Court in Singapore, alleging that the assistant vice-president of Deutsche Bank's Hong Kong branch, Johnny Wan Fan Ting, had provided him with negligent advice that caused him to lose US$49 million. The suit is still being heard.
These cases bring to the fore the importance of fair dealing and compliance within the wealth management industry - areas that that banks say they are focused on.
At DBS Private Bank, a target of 4,000 man hours of training for 200 of its RMs in Hong Kong and Singapore has been set - an initiative it started in August and hopes to accomplish by March next year. The training programme is structured in four areas, covering technical competencies, soft skills, compliance and functional skills.
Over at DBS Treasures, all incoming RMs are put through a six-week-long programme on the product suite of the bank, compliance guidelines, systems and processes. DBS Private Bank and DBS Treasures come under DBS Wealth Management, which employs about 240 RMs.