Yesterday the Business Times asked DBS if it was planning to close down its stockbroking arm. DBS replied that it would hold a townhall meeting with the remisiers regarding its restructuring plan.
Last night remisiers from DBSVickers were told that they could not continue with their stockbroking business and the bank would explore ways to redeploy them based on their age, qualifications and experience - subject to the bank's policy on hiring older employees, market practices and MOM regulations. Their businesses and clients will be subsequently taken over by the bank.
Many remisiers were left in utter shock and disbelief with this bombshell coming immediately after the Chinese New Year festivities. Many have spent 20 or more years with DBSVickers. Affected folks are thus pondering over their next move with this financial crisis hitting hard and sudden. With more than a handful getting quite senior age-wise and having been in the stockbroking business most of their lives, it is unlikely that they would be able to find suitable jobs which pay comparably. The younger remisiers are without doubt extremely concerned as they have school going children to feed and their livelihoods are likely to be adversely affected.
It would appear a fire has just started in the stockbroking industry; the fear that other banks or broking houses could follow suit and the problem spiraling into something beyond control is taking root. This would surely be another contentious issue to raise during the next GE which is just around the corner.
Needless to say, both remisiers and their supporting staff have now fallen on hard times. How would this further worsen the already not too pretty statistics concerning unemployed PMETs in Singapore?
Wonder what is the position of MAS and the government regarding this announcement?