UBB Amanah Berhad: A Ponzi Scheme In Malaysia?

UBB Amanah Berhad is a Malaysian independent private trustee that is getting a bad reputation for using deceptive methods to lie to clients.

The company says it has been in business for 30 years and that it focuses on helping its clients get the results they want.

Also, the company says that over 18,000 experts have put MYR2.6 million in trust.

The office of UBB Amanah Berhad is situated at B-G-9, Galeria Hartamas No.21, Jalan 26/70a, Desa Sri Hartamas, 50480 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. In the same way, their number is 3-6211-41-99.

Here’s a quick look at their Board of Directors:

  • Tan Sri Dr. Suleiman Mohamed (Chairman)
  • Aida Othman (Managing Director)
  • Dato’ Muleidaran M. Navaratnam (Director) and
  • Dato’ George Varughese (Director) UBB Amanah Berhad
  • The company has several branches, such as UBB Private, UBB Investment Bank Limited, and UBB Amanah (Labuan).

But this UBB Amanah Berhad review will only talk about the main business. Here, you’ll find out if you can put your hard-earned money in their hands or not.

UBB Amanah Berhad Bank Negara: Are They Regulated?

When you search “Is UBB Amanah regulated?” you will see the answer:

The Trust Companies Act of 1949 says that UBB is a registered Trust Company. Also, the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM) is in charge of them.

But it’s important to note that SSM is not a financial watchdog. It only keeps an eye on businesses in general.

SSM Malaysia is a government body that helps people start businesses and makes information about registered businesses available to the public. All done.

They have nothing to do with selling or buying financial goods.

The Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) is Malaysia’s financial watchdog, but UBB’s website doesn’t say anything about SC. They don’t have a license from SC, which makes them a very sketchy company.

Many UBB workers say that because the company is a trustee, it doesn’t need an SC license. But the company says it can give returns of 6-8% per year, but it doesn’t say how.

UBB Amanah is taking advantage of legal loopholes to sell investments that aren’t controlled.

This means that the company could be a Ponzi plan.

But recent news stories suggest that the Securities Commission might soon be looking into UBB:

Is the background of UBB Amanah Berhad being looked at by the DAP National Public Complaints Bureau?
A recent news article said that the Life Insurance Association of Malaysia, the Association of Trust Companies of Malaysia, and the Malaysian Financial Planning Council with the Financial Planning Association of Malaysia all complained to the DAP National Public Complaints Bureau about “cash trusts.”

Their worries were about some trusts that gave their clients very high returns. People thought that these cash trusts might be Ponzi scams.

UBB Amanah Berhad Wikipedia

Even though the report didn’t name any specific businesses, it did say that some of them claim to offer returns of up to 36% per year.

On the other hand, Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank) has a set deposit rate of 2.1% for 12 months and 2.35 for 5 years. By market value, Maybank is the biggest bank in Malaysia.

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In FY2021, Maybank gave dividends of 58 sen per share, which was equal to a return of about 7%. By business standards, this is a very high amount.

What is a Ponzi Scheme?

For those who don’t know, a Ponzi scam is an investment where someone promises a very high rate of return with what seems to be no risk.

When you put money into a Ponzi plan, the people running it use some of it to pay returns to people who put money in earlier and keep some for themselves.

Then the process starts over again.

They keep saying it over and over again until things get too crazy and there is no money left.

When the trust company runs out of money, you lose the money you put in.

Bernard Madoff is a recent case of a Ponzi scam. In 2009, he was found guilty of fraud and given a sentence of 150 years in jail. His company should have had assets worth US$65 billion, but it didn’t have much.

Chairman of the Public Complaints Bureau on Cash Trusts: Is UBB Amanah a real company?
Lim Lip Eng, who is the head of the DAP National Public Complaints Bureau and a member of parliament, talked to the media about whether or not some “cash trusts” are legal.

He said that there aren’t many financial goods on the market that are moving around. These goods are being sold by some trustee companies, and they are a big scam.

Lim pointed out that these cash trusts took RM1 billion from the market in 2020-21.

He also said that neither Bank Negara nor the Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) can do a good job of regulating these trusts. So, these managers are taking advantage of a few holes in the law.

UBB Amanah Berhad news

As I said before, UBB Amanah Berhad also uses these kinds of business strategies.

They don’t have to follow the rules of banking regulators. Instead, they have to follow the rules of the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM). As I said before, SSM is not a financial manager. Instead, it keeps an eye on businesses in general.

Also, a lot of reports about shady cash trust companies like UBB Amanah Berhad have been sent to the SC.

In the report about Lim’s ideas, there is no clear mention of UBB Amanah. But it seems to show that UBB is also being watched.

They say:

On the website of one of these companies, it says that when you put money in a trust, they make a cash trust. Also, the person who gets the money can use it if they need to.

They say that one of the best things about these cash trusts is that they don’t get stopped when the person who made them dies. You can still get to it, but there are some rules.

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Also, the company says that it has more than RM2.5 billion in trusts. It also says that it has been in business for more than 30 years.

All of these are claims that UBB Amanah Berhad has made.

As I’ve said before, neither Bank Negara nor the Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) has given UBB Amanah Berhad a license.

On their website, they only show an SSM Certificate of Registration as a Trust Company under Section 4 of the Trust Companies Act 1949.

This act says that when a register gets an application for a trust company, he or she must do whatever research they think is necessary.

Also, if the registrar is happy that the company meets the requirements of Section 3, he can register the company and give it a certificate as a registered trust company.

Now, Section 3 of the Trust Companies Act of 1949 says that any Malaysian public company can apply to the Registrar of Companies to become a trust company, as long as they meet certain requirements.

These rules include the following:

  • The company shouldn’t have less than RM500,000 in cash.
  • The company’s Articles of Association say how the members should be chosen.
  • At least RM150,000 in allowed capital has already been paid up.
  • With the approval of the Minister of Finance, RM100,000 worth of assets were put in the hands of the Accountant General.
  • Lastly, it should be able to meet its responsibilities, other than those to its shareholders, without taking into account the securities it deposited with the Accountant General.
  • Even though these standards might seem like a lot, for a business like UBB Amanah Berhad, they are nothing.

A person who was involved in a similar cash trust operation said that these kinds of businesses usually have a lot of connections. So, it becomes harder and harder to take them down.

Consumer Reviews of UBB Amanah Berhad: What People Say

I googled “UBB Amanah Berhad Review” to find out more about this trustee. What I found was a detailed discussion of the company and its legitimacy.

The conversation led to the conclusion that UBB Amanah is not a trustworthy company and is likely a scam. But it seems like a lot of UBB’s workers got into the conversation because they started praising the company for no reason.

One person asked the other people on the forum about UBB Amanah Cash Trust. One of his friends told him to check out UBB Cash Trust.

UBB Amanah Berhad review

He brought up the fact that the goods cost 3.5% per year. But it said it would give a NETT return of 6-8% per year for a 3-year program.

Also, the goods promised to make at least RM60k. The person wanted to know if anyone knew about such trusts. He was curious because the rate on his FD was going down.

The first person to answer this question was a pretty new user. In his review, he started right off by saying how great UBB Amanah Berhad is.

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But another user with a lot of knowledge said that it’s a high-risk product. So he doesn’t think it’s a good idea.

After that, the UBB Amanah Berhad review talked about whether or not they have permission to do business in Malaysia.

Some people said it was covered by the Trust Act. All done.

Others started to point out that if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. They talked about how easy it is to start a fake business and steal money from people by making false claims.

More on whether or not the Malaysian Trustee is a real person:
Later, people started talking about the Trust Act and how UBB is using it to look more trustworthy.

One person said that trustees have more freedom than approved investment managers. But they used the word “Donor” for their backers, which seems strange.

How can a “Donor” expect their “donation” to make them 7-8% profit?

Here are some pictures of this Malaysian trustee’s Terms and Conditions:

As you can see, UBB Amanah will charge you a 20% fee if you take your money out before the maturity date.

They make “projections” but not “guarantees”

One user brought up an important part of what UBB Amanah Berhad has to give. They said that the company said it would give its investors a “Projected Profit Share” of between 6.5% and 9% on its investment.

Projections are estimations, not promises. Anyone can make predictions, and they can be as big as they want to be. But they are not sure to make money.

Certainly, this makes it hard to believe that what they say is true.

Later, a user brought up the fact that the company says its “current participants,” which could include MGS, can get 7% returns. In its flyers, the company also talks about forecasts, which are vague numbers.

If their public records were this good, they would have put this information online. Or, they could have used this information to get their name out there.

Their real numbers are much smaller than what they “project.”

Also, a lot of people in the chat said it was a scam:

One person chose to highlight a different part of UBB Amanah’s rules. They said that UBB might charge you fees and costs for your Trust Capital.

But they don’t talk about what costs or fees they charge.

In other words, they can take away as much or as little of your Trust Capital as they want. They put words in their agreement that aren’t clear on purpose so they can charge secret fees without getting in trouble with the law.

I found a user who said that UBB was like a controlled trustee. He brought up the fact that UBB doesn’t show proof of its investments. They also don’t have a brochure that tells people this information.

On top of that, they don’t tell each other anything about who runs the fund.

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They don’t say if the trusts they offer are in line with Shariah or not. Also, there is no protection in place in case the company goes bankrupt.

UBB Amanah Reddit: Concerning Talks

Aside from the discussion I linked to above, I also found a thorough forum discussion on Reddit where people talked about whether or not UBB’s claims were true.

Here, the person shared a flyer for the Opportunity Trust from UBB Amanah Berhad. He wanted to know if anyone knew about the company and if he should go ahead with it or not.

The most important reply on the thread pointed out a few red flags:

UBB Amanah Berhad didn’t say anything about the assets from which the profits will come.
They used the word “Projected” instead of “Assured” or “Guaranteed.”
There is a lock-in time of 3 years. If the expected profits are that high, the assets behind them must be very risky.

Another user pointed out that your capital isn’t guaranteed by Trust projects. In other words, you can lose some of the money you spend instead of getting a return on it.

Like the last user, this one said to find out how UBB Amanah Berhad makes these kinds of returns and talk to the person about it.

Aside from the UBB Amanah Reddit post, I found a thread where people talked about how real this company was. Here, the customer said that it’s a sketchy product because the company doesn’t share much information other than its brochure.

Also, the brochure doesn’t explain how the trust makes its money.

The reviewer says he doesn’t use any method he can’t check out and figure out how it works.

Can you depend on UBB Amanah Berhad?

After reading the reviews and the company’s paperwork, it’s clear that UBB Amanah Berhad is not a trustworthy company.

The money it promises to give back sounds too good to be true.

UBB Amanah looks like a financial scam in every way. The company is getting away with its shady business by taking advantage of legal loopholes.

These kinds of cons happen a lot. For example, ACE Holdings Bhd is a well-known financial investment company that was caught by SC and had to give back RM814 Million to its owners.

SC doesn’t have power over UBB Amanah Berhad right now, which is a shame. So, they might be able to continue doing shady things for a long time.

A Financial Scam

UBB Amanah Berhad makes many big claims. But it has all the signs of a scheme to get money from people. They never talk about how they plan to get their “projected returns.” Also, they don’t give “guaranteed” returns. Instead, they only give “projections.” Don’t do business with such a shady company.

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