Wednesday, April 4, 2012

MAS Introduces Panel for the Financial Advisory Industry Review (FAIR)

Singapore, 2 April 2012...  The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has announced the composition of the Review Panel for the Financial Advisory Industry Review (FAIR).
2   The Review Panel will be chaired by MAS’ Assistant Managing Director for Capital Markets, Mr Lee Chuan Teck, and comprise representatives from industry associations, consumer bodies, the investment community, academia, media, and other stakeholders.  The panel composition is in Annex A. 
3   The Review Panel will review and propose recommendations on the five key thrusts of FAIR, as outlined by MAS Managing Director, Mr Ravi Menon on 26 March 2012:
(i) raise the competence of financial advisory (FA) representatives;
(ii) raise the quality of FA firms;
(iii) make FA a dedicated service;
(iv) lower distribution costs; and
(v) promote a culture of fair dealing.
4   FAIR will build on the foundations laid by the industry-led Committee on Efficient Distribution of Life Insurance (CEDLI) which, in 2000, made far-reaching recommendations for the insurance industry on areas such as needs-based advisory process, disclosure practices, and training and competency requirements.  FAIR will cover all firms engaged in the financial advisory business – including banks, insurers, stockbrokers, financial advisory firms – and their representatives, and all investment products regulated by MAS under the Financial Advisers Act (CAP. 110).
5   Said Mr Lee Chuan Teck, Assistant Managing Director for Capital Markets, MAS “Our vision is for financial institutions to put customers first, and for customers to have access to affordable life insurance and investments to meet their financial planning and retirement needs.  We are not there yet.  Preliminary findings in a recent Mystery Shopping exercise that we commissioned show that up to one-third of recommendations by FA representatives were “clearly unsuitable” and representatives were not upfront in disclosing fees and charges.  FAIR is an opportunity for financial institutions and consumers to build mutual trust, towards sustainable growth in the FA industry, and a more secure financial future for Singaporeans.”
6   MAS invites consumers and industry practitioners to work with us to achieve our objectives of financial institutions that consistently deliver fair dealing outcomes and competent representatives who provide quality advice. Please refer to Annex B for the questionnaire and feedback channels. The completed questionnaire should reach MAS by 1 May 2012.


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Feedback should be provided to MAS through:
(i) Emailing your general comments to us at fairfeedback@mas.gov.sg;
(ii) Filling in the FAIR Questionnaire (1 May 2012) on our MAS website at the following link http://www.mas.gov.sg/fair/; or
(iii) Mailing a hardcopy response to 10 Shenton Way, MAS Building, Singapore 079117, marked for the attention of “Capital Markets Intermediaries Department – FAIR”.
Please provide us with the following when submitting your feedback:
(i) your name;
(ii) your email address;
(iii) your contact number; and
(iv) an indication of whether you are currently working in the financial advisory industry.
Please note that any submission received may be made public unless confidentiality is specifically requested for the whole or part of the submission.

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