SERVING THE PUBLIC,

ENGAGING STAKEHOLDERS

PROTECTING CONSUMERS
FINANCIAL ADVISORY INDUSTRY REVIEW

In September 2013, MAS accepted most of the recommendations of the FAIR Panel to raise the professionalism of the financial advisory industry and improve efficiency in the distribution of life insurance and investment products. Three key FAIR initiatives were implemented in the first half of 2015. These are the balanced scorecard (BSC) framework, DPI products and web aggregator for life insurance products.

Balanced Scorecard Framework
In January 2015, MAS introduced a BSC remuneration framework to promote a culture of fair dealing. Under the BSC framework, a significant proportion of a representative's remuneration will be dependent on whether the representative has taken steps to understand the customer's needs, recommend suitable products, make adequate disclosures and conduct himself professionally. Financial advisers have a one-year transition period to familiarise themselves with the framework before the requirements are legislated in January 2016.

Direct Purchase Insurance
Launched in April 2015, DPI is a class of simple term and whole life insurance products with total and permanent disability cover and optional critical illness rider that is sold without commissions and financial advice. Consumers who know what life insurance products they want can purchase DPI directly from the customer service counters or websites (if available) of life insurance companies. As DPI is sold without financial advice, the products have broadly standardised features which makes it easier to compare between them when deciding which products to purchase. Their premiums are lower than comparable life insurance products because no commissions are charged.

Web Aggregator for Life Insurance Products
Launched in April 2015, compareFIRST (www. comparefirst.sg) is an interactive web portal that allows consumers to easily compare the premiums and features of similar life insurance products offered by different insurance companies in Singapore. It allows consumers to make more informed decisions when buying life insurance policies.

Consumers can compare DPI, term life insurance, whole life insurance and endowment policies on compareFIRST. General product information on investment-linked insurance policies is also available on the portal. Consumers who are interested to purchase life insurance policies after using compareFIRST may approach the life insurance companies or their financial advisory representatives.

compareFIRST is a collaborative effort by the Consumers Association of Singapore, MAS, the Life Insurance Association, Singapore and MoneySENSE.

With the introduction of DPI and compareFIRST, consumers will benefit from greater price transparency and enhanced market efficiency in the life insurance market.