Tuesday, October 31, 2006

That pound of flesh

Shylock - http://www.scn.org/It would appear that Singapore bankers are a bunch of swindl...er..Shylocks. Unsurprisingly, even the Association of Banks of Singapore are backing them up over the issue of multiple Floating Board Rates (FBR) that banks maintain to compute interest on loans. And many who have borrowed from these banks to fund their property purchases must be biting their nails now that they know their interest is pegged to whatever rates the banks decide to charge. What's the difference compared to if they went to a casino to bet their life savings? The first one squeezes you dry without your knowing about it, the other is more open about it. Somehow, the image of Shylock comes to mind.

'Trust us' - the banks say, but the banks are hardly those who trust anybody. They send their debt collectors to foreclose on your house and business loans the moment they smell something ratty - and they have first charge on the moneys to boot.

But of course I may be wrong about all this. However, so far, replies in the press from banks over the issue of multiple FBRs have been far from convincing. That pound of flesh is difficult for its customers to swallow.

On the other hand, NTUC seems more reasonable. They only have one FBR, so I understand, making loan computations more predictable and comprehensible, not to say fair. I am glad that I borrowed that huge gob of money from NTUC. Perhaps re-financing with NTUC may be a good idea for the rest?

Disclaimer: I do not work for NTUC nor its affiliate organisations. Heck, I am not even a Union member. I am just a satisfied customer who does not have to toss and turn in bed worrying about banks' arbitrary FBRs.

Image source: http://www.scn.org/

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