Basically the same thing that George talks about happened to me. The status of the Lehman bancruptcy and the "European Banking Recovery Capital protected Notes" is still very unclear. At some point they just put the value to zero, but told us that we would still get a part back. And we always just hear that things are being worked on, but nothing happens yet. Very frustrating. We know these lawyers are now transforming the leftovers into lawyers fees.
When bying into the scheme I was given the impression that this was a fund, investing in actual banks, with downside risk guaranteed by something like options, organized by Lehmans. It turned out that a 'note' is a much more shady vehicle, and that it wasn't at all 100% safe, that there was not just a large risk, but that the whole thing just evaporated when Lehmans went belly-up. But this was never made clear, and the people from Standard Chartered tell us they are still helping us to get something back.
I am not of the opinion that it was downright fraud by Standard Chartered, but
= they did not explain the risk correctly
= it was sold as a fund in European banks, with at least some underlying value, that can lose value. It turned out to be a 'note' that could just evaporate into nothingness, when Lehman went bankrupt. That possibility had not been thought of.
= it was sold as something with a 100% guaranteed safety
= the promised percentage of interest/growth guaranteed was not excessive at all, actually quite modest. So that gave no reason to suspect it of being 'too good to be true'
= the most serious thing was that Standard Chartered were at that point offering this as their only option, as their best and only 'fund' to invest in at that time. They sold it quite aggressively, and were quite persistent.
= On top of this, they encouraged me to put all of my money into this one fund, retreiving what I had in another fund, suggesting that risks were safely spread over many european banks, so I would not be putting all my eggs into the same basket. At least I didn't fall for that, but I still put in a substantial amount.
I would like to hear from other people with the same story (and the previous poster). As they were selling only this one 'fund' (or 'note' in effect), selling it quite hard, and probably to all their customers, I expect that there will be many others on the same situation.
Searching with google, I found a link to news about Standard Chartered buying back "equity-linked products guaranteed by the now bankrupt Lehman Brothers" http://www.cnbc.com/id/41844705
.. possibly not exactly the same story, but it sounds comparable. Only that is in Hong Kong.