Singapore’s Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has taken a hard line on the mis-selling of investment products.
Six individuals including a Citibank Singapore relationship manager and agents from Prudential Assurance Co Singapore and AIA Singapore, were named and shamed for their misconducts.
Forgery, making false or misleading statements to clients when providing financial advice, making false or misleading representations to the insurer, providing financial advice without due consideration of clients’ financial situation and improper switching are among the misconducts committed by these individuals.
MAS said it will publicise these actions to send a clear message that such misconduct will not be tolerated.
‘Where warranted, we will not hesitate to weed out errant representatives from the industry,' the regulator added.
MAS said it will take stern action against representatives who betray the trust placed in them and provide false or misleading information or give irresponsible advice to their customers.
Representatives who mis-sell investment products to vulnerable clients will face stiffer action.
This has been reflected in the lengthier durations of the prohibition orders issued against former Prudential insurance agent David Hiah Xinkai and former AIA agent Heng Goid Hoon.
Hiah, whose misconduct involved vulnerable clients, is prohibited from providing any financial advisory or management service, as well as becoming a substantial shareholder of any financial advisory firm for seven years.
MAS defines vulnerable client as any client who aged 62 years or older, is not proficient in English and has below GCE ‘O’ level or ‘N’ level qualifications, or equivalent academic qualifications. Vulnerable client is those who meet at least two of the criteria.
One of Hiah’s misconduct was forging the signatures of several policyholders to effect fund switches in their investment-linked policies without their knowledge or consent.
The six individuals are prohibited from providing any financial advisory service and from taking part in the management, acting as a director or becoming a substantial shareholder of any financial advisory firm for periods ranging between two to seven years.
Additionally, a relationship manager from Citibank Singapore is prohibited from performing any regulated activity under the Securities and Futures Act, and from taking part in the management, acting as a director, or becoming a substantial shareholder of any capital market services firm, for a period of two years.
Lee Boon Ngiap, assistant managing director for capital markets at MAS said the representatives of financial institutions who give advice on financial products have a duty of care to their customers.