I had a stock trading account with another investment bank. In late 2019, I decided to transfer my portfolio from that investment bank to Suntra Investment Bank to take advantage of their online trading platform. Little did I know this would be beginning of immense agony, rudeness, time wastage and incompetence from Suntra staff and a loss of nearly 100,000 Kenya shillings (Sh) from my stock trading portfolio.
When I presented my stock portfolio transfer documents to one Wilson of Suntra, he assured me it takes normally one week to transfer stocks from one broker to another and he gave me the Suntra office telephone line to contact him should there be any delays. Two weeks elapsed and I had not received any feedback from Suntra so I decided to call the office line Wilson had given me. Unfortunately, the receptionist kept telling me that Wilson is either busy or not in the office. I had left Nairobi city so I could not visit their offices. For nearly 2 months, I tried desperately to call this Wilson idiot almost daily and I kept being given the same response i.e. he is busy or out. Finally, I managed to contact Wilson’s superior one Alice Chihi in early 2020 and she promised to have my portfolio transferred to their investment bank and accused Central Deposit Settlement Corporation (CDSC) for the delay.
Then the covid-19 crisis struck and stocks started selling off massively. I initially tried to call Suntra to confirm if my portfolio transfer was complete so that I could sell my shares before stocks declined further and I, as usual, I could not reach anyone. I called my prior broker to request if I could sell my stocks from their side and they replied that they couldn’t since they had already released my portfolio to Suntra thus they didn’t have access to sell stock on my behalf. A few days later I managed to finally contact Chihi to request if I could sell my shares from their end and she told me the portfolio hadn’t been transferred to Suntra yet. I was now losing money on a daily basis as stocks continued to fall due to covid-19. Furious with Suntra, I warned them to process the portfolio transfer immediately or I would report them to Capital Markets Authority (CMA). Alice told me off rudely that I go ahead and report Suntra to CMA and that CMA regulator wouldn’t reprimand Suntra.
I filed the portfolio transfer complaint to CMA and they also wasted several weeks before they could even respond. During this time stocks continued with further declines and I was powerless to sell my shares. Frustrated with CMA, I filed the same complaint to Nairobi Stock Exchange (NSE). Both CMA and NSE “promised” to take up the matter with Suntra. I thought now I had a breakthrough in the impasse but shock on me both useless regulators chose to do very little just as Chihi had earlier rudely bragged to me. I requested both regulators to order Suntra to process my portfolio transfer immediately and to compel Suntra to reimburse me the losses that I had incurred in the market due to my inability to sell shares earlier. Both useless regulators decided to side with their colleagues Suntra in the dubious investment banking industry and stated I cannot claim any compensation from opportunity lost in selling shares earlier had Suntra processed my application in 2019.
Eventually, Suntra processed my portfolio transfer application a whole 6 months later (recall they promised to process this within one week). As soon as it was processed I decided to sell my shares immediately before covid-19 further eroded value of stocks and it was a wise move as stocks continued their declines after I had sold but I sold the shares at much lower prices than I would have if I had sold them earlier. I ended up losing almost 100,000 Kenya Shillings and Suntra informed me they had no intention to reimburse me the losses and idiot regulators had supported them in this assertion. I decided to move to another investment bank and not waste time with such incompetent fools.
What a filthy incompetent Suntra Investment Bank. Moreover, it’s shameful that both CMA and NSE regulators encourage a culture of impunity by investment banks where these banks lose their clients’ money and regulators don’t bother helping small retail clients instead siding with their colleagues in these bogus investment banks.
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