Close to two-thirds of people believe local banks did not do enough to warn minibond investors of the risks involved, according to a poll released yesterday. The results also showed 52.5 per cent of respondents had lost confidence in investing in financial products since the saga triggered by the collapse of Lehman Brothers. The telephone survey, conducted by the Democratic Party late last month, interviewed 552 people on their views of the minibond saga. Minibonds are a type of derivative investment marketed in Hong Kong by brokers or banks as a proxy investment in well-known companies. Twenty-one banks and three brokers sold investors minibonds and related complicated derivatives worth a total of HK$15.7 billion issued or guaranteed by the now-failed Lehman Brothers. About 10,000 investors are affected. The Democratic Party said some 3,000 investors had sought its help, involving investments totalling about HK$2 billion. Many investors, mostly retirees, claimed they had been misled by banks to believe that the minibonds were highly stable. On Saturday, angry investors scuffled with staff at the Bank of China (Hong Kong) headquarters in Central after the bank refused to see them to listen to their complaints. Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury Chan Ka-keung said: 'I believe banks have a responsibility to maintain a good relationship with their customers. 'During this period, even though information is insufficient and customers are anxious, banks should put more resources into meeting with their customers,' Professor Chan said at a National Day celebration dinner last night. 'Even if they can't meet all customers in one go, they should still see them in groups or arrange meeting time slots with them.' The Democrats' survey also showed 63.9 per cent believed the manner in which bank staff marketed the minibonds was problematic and investors could have been misled. Only 11.1 per cent believed the banks had not tried to mislead investors into buying. About 45.5 per cent said the government should be held responsible because of lax monitoring. A party spokesman, Andrew Fung Wai-kwong, said that in many cases the bank employees themselves had not fully understood the products they were selling. 'Many are under pressure by the bank management to hard-sell the products,' he said. Meanwhile, at yesterday's the RTHK City Forum, legislator Chim Pui-chung, who represents the financial services sector, also criticised the Hong Kong Monetary Authority for its lax monitoring. 'If it was the investors who had gone to the banks and asked to buy Lehman Brothers-related products, then we could say the investors should be partly responsible,' he said. 'But if it was the bank staff persuading people to buy minibonds, the authority cannot just sit there and do nothing.' Professor Chan pledged to liaise closely with political parties helping victims and added that the monetary authority would study ways to strengthen support to victims.