It took many months to investigate complaints about the Lehman Brothers minibonds. By July, the city's financial and securities regulators had finally worked out a deal for investors to get some of their money back. But well before then, banks had compensated some complainants, including the elderly and disadvantaged. One person who got an early payout was Lam Suk-jing, sister-in-law of Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen. Three months before banks offered compensation of 60 to 70 per cent of their investment, Lam accepted 60 per cent. The news has triggered claims of favouritism. But lawmaker Abraham Razack says he says he helped the couple (Lam and Tsang's brother Norman Tsang Yam-huen) in the same way he would have helped anyone else who asked. Lam was just willing to accept the first offer the bank made, as he advised. Denying any link between the compensation and family ties, Norman Tsang says his wife is 'just a housewife', and not a professional investor. The chief executive says he had been made aware that Lam and his brother had bought minibonds, but neither had asked him for help and he had not been aware of Razack's role. But would any other investor have received the same treatment? The issue needs more transparency. What exactly did Razack do? Did he make personal representations to an officer of the bank, or simply introduce her? How high at the bank did he go? Did he say he was representing the chief executive's sister-in-law? These questions may seem intrusive, given that family links to powerful people are almost coincidental. But it is important to maintain public confidence and clear up any doubt.