Letters to Editor
Published Date: 14 February 2005

Response to "Law Must Catch Up With Unlicensed Financial Advisers" (Straits Times, 7 Febuary 2005)

Dear Sir,

"Law must catch up with unlicensed financial advisers" (Straits Times, 7 Febuary 2005) gives the wrong impression that unregulated persons are allowed to operate freely in Singapore. 

2   When MAS and CAD receive information about unregulated persons operating in Singapore or targetting Singapore investors, we act on this information and conduct an investigation.  It is sometimes difficult to investigate such cases as many of the unlicensed firms operate overseas and a number of the affected investors are foreigners.  Most of the unlicensed firms with a local contact address actually use local serviced office facilities to divert their correspondence and calls to overseas destinations. CAD takes the additional step of cautioning these local service providers that they should not deal with unregulated persons. CAD also works with overseas enforcement agencies to deal with these cases where possible.

3   The Investor Alert List lists persons that are not regulated by MAS, and  complements investigations undertaken by MAS and CAD. It  serves as an early warning system for consumers, and is a useful tool employed in other developed financial centres.  It helps consumers avoid unknowingly dealing with unregulated persons and encourages consumers to alert us to other unregulated persons.  We believe there is greater awareness of this issue as a significant number of reports about unregulated persons come from consumers. Consumers should play their part by conducting the necessary checks and taking responsibility for their decisions.

4   The article also seems to suggest that CAD is unable to cope with the breaches under the Financial Advisers Act due to investigations into other matters. This is baseless.  Any breach of the law brought to CAD's attention will be thoroughly looked into.

Yours sincerely,

Angelina FernandezTristan Sim
Director (Communications) Assistant Director (Media Relations)
Monetary Authority of Singapore Public Affairs Department
Singapore Police Force