Dato’ Dr Siva Ananthan – Fraudster Running Trustee Scam
Dato’ Dr Siva Ananthan is one of the many people behind the shady operations of UBB Amanah Berhad.
He is the Executive Deputy Chairman at GV Corporate Advisory but his name isn’t mentioned anywhere on the website of the trustee firm.
However, it has only been 2 years since he joined that company.
Before that, Dr Sivan Ananthan was the CEO of Crest Worldwide Resources Sdn Bhd. According to its claims, the company is in property development and corporate advisory services.
Also, the company claims to be in corporate strategy advisory, corporate debt restructuring, mediation, capital formation, claims negotiation, raising private venture capital and project financing.
Another major claim of the company was that it had a vast network of contacts in various South-East Asian countries including:
- Sri Lanka
Dato’ Dr Siva Ananthan claimed to be the Principal Legal Consultant to Amcorp Group of Companies. And the Principal Negotiator for Terra Corporation, Japan.
His profile highlights that he was the Principal Negotiator for several public companies owing over RM80 Million to Malaysian Banks.
Currently, he is involved with UBB Amanah Berhad, a prominent Cash Trust company in Malaysia.
Dato’ Dr Siva Ananthan’s Past Experience:
Before becoming the CEO of Crest Worldwide Resources Sdn Bhd, Siva was an advisor for LTT Global Communications Sdn Bhd. It is a mobile learning enterprise that focuses on expanding the mobile ecosystem.
The company offers consultancy services using mobile technology innovations. They primarily focus on raising awareness about the benefits of using mobile devices, which seems quite odd.
One of their claims is that they are the founder of the Asia Pacific Mobile Learning & Edutainment Advisory Panel.
Dato’ Dr Siva Ananthan used to be the CEO of Nirwana College from 1998 to 2003. The college specialized in offering tuition from the University of London’s Law Degree.
Prior to that, he ran the Advance Tertiary College for 10 years.
Siva has a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) (Honours) from University of London.
More About Dato’ Dr Siva Ananthan and UBB Amanah:
UBB Amanah Berhad is an independent private trustee based in Malaysia. The company has been in the industry for over 30 years and claims to possess more than MYR2.6 million assets.
Recently, their offered trusts attracted a lot of negative attention when The Edge Markets published an article highlighting how several cash trusts are Ponzi schemes.
While the report doesn’t mention any names, it does specify that some companies claim to offer returns as high as 36% per annum.
It’s worth noting that the fixed deposit rate of Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank) is 2.1% for 12 months and 2.35% for 5 years. Note that Maybank is the largest bank in Malaysia by market capitalization.
In FY2021, Maybank had paid out 58 sen per share in dividends which amounted to a yield of around 7%. This is an extremely high number by industry standards.
So, their promised returns are certainly higher than most competitors.
What is a Ponzi Scheme?
For those who don’t know, a ponzi scheme is an investment where someone promises a very high rate of returns at apparently zero risk.
When you deposit your funds into a ponzi scheme, they use it to pay returns to the earlier investors and keep some for themselves.
Then, the process repeats.
They keep reiterating until everything goes too out of hand and there is no money left.
When the trust company has no money remaining, you lose your deposit.
A recent example of a Ponzi scheme is Bernard Madoff. The court sentenced him to 150 years in prison for committing fraud in 2009. His firm should have had US$65 billion in assets but in reality, it had very little.
Recent Controversy Surrounding Dato’ Dr Siva Ananthan’s UBB Amanah Berhad
Although Dato’ Dr Siva Ananthan doesn’t attach his name to UBB Amanah publicly, his involvement in the company is obvious. However, the company was in a lot of controversy recently as media reports prompted Malaysian authorities to talk about the legitimacy of ‘certain cash trusts’.
Lim Lip Eng, DAP National Public Complaints Bureau Chairman and Member of Parliament, talked to the media about the legitimacy of certain ‘cash trusts’.
He pointed out that few financial products present in the market are going around. Certain trustee companies are offering these products and they are a big scam.
Lim highlighted that these cash trusts took RM1 billion from the market in 2020-21.
Furthermore, he pointed out that Bank Negara or the Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) are not able to regulate these trusts properly. Hence, there are a few legal loopholes which these trustees are exploiting.
Like I mentioned earlier, UBB Amanah Berhad relies on such business tactics as well.
Instead of following the regulation of financial regulators, they fall under the regulation of the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM). As I mentioned earlier, SSM is not a financial regulator but an overseer of companies in general.
Also, many complaints have been sent to the SC on shady cash trust companies such as UBB Amanah Berhad.
The report sharing Lim’s thoughts doesn’t mention UBB Amanah directly. But suggests UBB is under the same scope of scrutiny.
One such company’s website says they create a cash trust when you place a sum of cash in a trust. Also, the beneficiary can tap on to the cash trust for emergencies.
They claim that a unique feature of these cash trusts is they are not frozen if the creator dies. It is still accessible subject to terms and conditions.
Also, the company claims to have over RM2.5 billion in assets under trusts. It also claims to have been operating for over 30 years.
Certainly, these are all claims made by Dr Siva Ananthan’s UBB Amanah Berhad.
What People Say About Dato’ Dr Siva Ananthan’s Company
Apart from media coverage, Dr Siva Ananthan’s company has received a lot of attention on Malaysian forums as well.
The conclusion of the discussion was that UBB Amanah is not a reliable firm and is probably a scam. However, many of UBB’s agents probably penetrated the discussion as they started praising the firm without any reason.
One user had asked the forum members about UBB Amanah Cash Trust. One of his friends had recommended UBB Cash Trust to him.
He pointed out that the product was charging 3.5% per annum. But, it claimed to offer 6-8% per annum NETT return for a 3-year product.
Also, the product guaranteed minimum RM60k. The user wanted to know if somebody was familiar with such trusts. He was interested because his FD rate was getting lower.
The first user who responded to this question was quite a new one. He started praising UBB Amanah Berhad right away in his review, claiming it’s amazing.
However, another highly experienced user pointed out that it’s a high-risk product. So, he doesn’t recommend it.
Later, the discussion on Dato’ Dr Siva Ananthan’s company went into if they have authorization in Malaysia.
Some users pointed out that it falls under the Trust Act. That’s it.
Other users began highlighting that if an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is. They highlighted that it’s very easy to start a fraudulent firm nowadays and steal funds from people by making false promises.
More Comments on the Legitimacy of the Malaysian Trustee:
Later on, users began discussing the Trust Act and how UBB is using it to make itself seem more reliable.
One user pointed out that trustees have more leeway in comparison to licensed investment managers. However, they used the word “Donor” for their investors, which seems rather odd.
How can a “Donor” expect to make 7-8% profit on their “donation”?
Here are a few images of the Terms and Conditions of this Malaysian trustee:
As you can see, UBB Amanah charges a 20% penalty if you withdraw your funds before the maturing date.
They Make “Projections” Not “Guarantees”
One user pointed out a vital aspect of UBB Amanah Berhad’s offers. They pointed out that the company claims to offer “Projected Profit Share” of 6.5% to 9% on its investment.
Projections are estimations, not guarantees. Anyone can make projections and increase them as much as they want. However, they are not guaranteed returns.
Certainly, it puts a big question mark on the legitimacy of their claims.
Later, a user highlighted that the company claims to offer 7% returns from its ‘current participants’ which might include MGS. Also, the company mentions projections in its flyers, which are abstract figures.
If their official track records had been this amazing, they would have shared this info online. Or, they would have used this data to market themselves.
Clearly, their official numbers are much lower than what they “project”.
Also, there were plenty of users in the discussion calling it a scam:
One user highlighted a different section of UBB Amanah’s Terms and Conditions. They pointed out that UBB might subject your Trust Capital to costs and expenses.
However, they don’t share what expenses or costs they charge.
In other words, they can reduce your Trust Capital as much as they want. They have used ambiguous words in their agreement deliberately so they don’t face any legal trouble for charging hidden fees.
I found another user comparing UBB with a regulated trustee. He highlighted that UBB doesn’t share any proof of its underlying investment. They don’t have any prospectus sharing this information as well.
On top of that, they don’t share any information on who the fund manager is.
They don’t share if their offered trusts are shariah compliant or not. Furthermore, there is no insurance in case the company defaults.
Victims of Dato Dr Siva Ananthan and UBB Amanah Berhad Speak Out:
A few months ago, an article was posted on this platform highlighting the shady practices of this trustee. It has received a lot of attacks from the staff of UBB Amanah Berhad, as apparent from its comment section.
However, the comments also contain a lot of complaints.
For example, one victim shares that they lost more than RM40,000 because of this company. The victim highlights that the company doesn’t care about its clients at all.
Another victim shared that he works part-time in a bar and thought it would help him to start investing to get some side-income. So, he decided to invest in Dato Dr Siva Ananthan’s firm.
The investment turned out to be a scam. Now, he highlights that the company is one of the biggest scams in Malaysia.
There are plenty of similar complaints. You can find the article on Gripeo.
It’s obvious that Dato’ Dr Siva Ananthan is not as reliable as he claims to be. You should be extremely wary of him and his ventures.
It would be best to avoid dealing with him.
There are plenty of Ponzi schemes and scammers operating in the Malaysian market. Another similar company which has attracted a lot of negative attention is ACE Holdings Bhd.
Dato’ Dr Siva Ananthan is involved in the shady operations of one of the biggest scams in Malaysia. Avoid dealing with him at all costs!