Lehman Brothers and HSBC 'may be sued over worthless securities'

10 August 2010

Lehman Brothers and HSBC could be sued in regard to $1.6 billion in worthless securities sold to Hong Kong-based retail investors following a court ruling.

Around 43,000 people were sold the structured financial notes – known as minibonds – until the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers during the financial crisis wiped out the value of the investments.

HSBC Bank USA was involved with the products as the trustee of the collateral securing the notes.

An initial decision by Lehman's bankruptcy judge to throw out a suit from seven holders of the minibonds has now been reversed by US district judge William Pauley, reports Bloomberg.

Last July, Hong Kong banks agreed to pay at least 60 cents to the dollar to investors who had lost their money and by the end of March 2010, around 30,000 had accepted the deal.

Earlier this year, Mary Schapiro, the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, said the organization was not properly equipped to regulate Lehman Brothers in the run-up to the bank's failure.

By Asim Shah

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