Letters to Editor
Published Date: 31 December 2004

Response to "Banks Not Best Body to Give Credit Advice" (Straits Times, 22 December 2004)

Dear Sir

We refer to "Banks not best body to give credit advice" (ST Forum, 22 December 2004).   

2   MoneySENSE is a national programme that brings together collaborative efforts by private, public and people sectors, including the financial planning associations mentioned by Mr Leong, to enhance the basic financial literacy of consumers.  We have established procedures to ensure that MoneySENSE programmes are objective and do not promote any specific commercial interest.

3   The articles mentioned are part of a 6-part series entitled "Loans & You", published in Streats and Lianhe Wanbao in November and December 2004. The series was a collaborative effort by the Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE) and The Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS). CASE engaged an independent writer while ABS checked the accuracy of the content. 

4   Instead of focusing on specific loan products, the series aims to give an overview of the types of loans available in the market and highlights the associated risks that consumers should consider before taking any loan.  The articles are not intended as a comprehensive guide on the different types of loans but they do indicate where consumers can get additional information to make better informed decisions.

5   We would also like to correct two inaccuracies raised by Mr Leong:

i)  In the event of a default in an HDB loan, the loan has to be repaid before any monies are refunded into the borrower's CPF account.

ii)  The Valuation Limit, which is the lower of the purchase price or the valuation of the flat at the time of purchase, is also applicable to resale HDB flats financed with HDB loan.  Details are available in the Public Housing handbook at the CPF website (www.cpf.gov.sg ).

Yours sincerely,

Ms Angelina Fernandez
Director (Communications)
Monetary Authority of Singapore
On behalf of the MoneySENSE Financial Education Steering Committee

Mrs Ong-Ang Ai Boon
The Association of Banks in Singapore

Mr Seah Seng Choon
Executive Director
Consumers Association of Singapore