Perhaps good for fellow members to take note. Going forward you will be able to verify from MAS' website to see if the person who is providing financial advice (be it from the banks, insurance companies, brokers etc) to you is qualified to do so and also what is their disciplinary track records.
Pls note that you should not deal with any person who does not have a valid representative's number that you are able to verify from the MAS register.
For more info, pls refer to the articles below.
Straits Times: Oct 20, 2010 (Page B21) | Online list of financial reps ready next month
By Lorna Tan, Senior Correspondent
AN ONLINE register listing more than 30,000 financial advisory representatives will be on stream next month, allowing consumers to check on those selling products from insurance to units trusts.
Only representatives on the register can conduct regulated activities, said the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) yesterday.
Representatives include bank relationship managers, remisiers, insurance agents and financial advisers.
The Register of Representatives, as it is called, will include the person's regulated activities, any disciplinary actions that have been lodged, and his employment history for the previous three years.
The new system will assign representatives with unique numbers that consumers can use to make their own checks.
'This will provide consumers with more information on their representatives, and enhance market discipline in the financial industry. Consumers should not deal with any person without a representative number,' said the MAS.
It believes the new initiative, targeted to start on Nov26, will raise standards in the financial industry.
The Sunday Times recently highlighted another change - the MAS will no longer issue licences to representatives.
But it has not changed the admission criteria for representatives, which include possessing the necessary qualifications, passing specified examinations and meeting 'fit and proper' requirements.
Under the old regime, not all representatives were licensed by the MAS. Those employed by banks and insurers were exempted, but everyone else had to be licensed under the Financial Advisers Act.
There are now about 9,000 licensed representatives.
The initiative levels the playing field between licensed and exempt representatives. Non-exempt firms have previously raised concerns that licensing a new representative could take anywhere from four weeks to several months.
Some consumer groups and finance industry watchers are concerned that the moves could erode professional standards, particularly within smaller financial advisory firms.
For instance, the ability of such firms to carry out due diligence checks is limited and the standards applied would probably vary.
But the MAS does not believe standards will drop, because firms that employ the representatives will still be licensed and have to ensure that their representatives are fit and proper.
It will take seven to 14 days to list a qualified representative on the register.
The MAS will not register a representative if his employer has not 'conducted sufficient due diligence'. It will ask the firm to conduct further checks or refuse to list the person.
Business Times: October 20, 2010 (Page 10) | More disclosure to come on finance advisers
All who provide financial advisory or capital market services to be listed | By SIOW LI SEN
FROM next month, bank customers will be able to find out professional details about their respective relationship managers or sales representatives on a Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) register as part of a move to improve disclosure.
Serial job-hoppers, for instance, will be exposed as customers will be able to see the number of times that the manager of representative has changed employers in the past three years.
Under the new Representative Notification Framework (RNF), all financial representatives who provide financial advisory or capital market services will be listed on a public register.
The RNF, which will be launched on Nov 26, replaces the existing licensing system for financial institutions that exempts banks and insurers.
Currently, only representatives of holders of capital market service licences and licensed financial advisers are issued hardcopy licences.
The RNF levels the playing field and provides greater transparency for consumers.
With the RNF, all financial representatives will appear on the register, which is publicly available on the MAS website.
The current number of licensed representatives is about 9,000, said an MAS spokeswoman. Under the RNF, more than 30,000 representatives are expected to be on the register at the launch, she said.
Every representative will be issued a unique representative number, the MAS said yesterday.
Members of the public will be able to use the register to verify if the people they deal with are authorised representatives, what the regulated activities are that the representatives are allowed to conduct, which FIs they act for, and any suspensions, revocations and prohibition orders issued against them by MAS.
'This will provide consumers with more information on their representatives, and enhance market discipline in the financial industry,' the MAS said.
'Consumers should not deal with any person without a representative number.'
The MAS also reminded FIs, whether they are banks, insurers, holders of capital market service licences or licensed financial advisers, to ensure that their representatives are fit and proper and meet the competency, financial soundness, and integrity standards required.
'Prior to placing the record of a proposed representative on the Register of Representatives, if MAS has reasons to believe that an FI has not conducted sufficient due diligence on its proposed representatives, MAS will ask the FI to conduct further checks or refuse to enter the name of a person on the Register of Representatives,' it said.
'MAS will not hesitate to take regulatory actions against FIs who have provided 'fit and proper' certifications for their proposed representatives without a proper basis.'
News Update:Register of Representatives (Financial Advisers)
With rising costs and increased learning needs, financing our children's education is no longer a simple walk in the park. Discuss with other parents about how they are managing their finances to cope with their expenses.