Response to "Regulate Investment Seminars" - The Straits Times, 27 May 2014
We refer to the letter from Mr Wilfred Ling (“Regulate Investment Seminars”, The Straits Times, 27 May 2014).
Mr Ling correctly pointed out that under the Financial Advisers Act (FAA), persons providing financial advice on investment products, such as stocks or foreign exchange, will need to be licensed and regulated by MAS. We would like to clarify that the licensing requirement applies, regardless of the mode or medium through which the financial advice is given. If financial advice is provided under the guise of educational training, the training provider would be guilty of committing an offence under the FAA if it does not hold a valid licence. Consumers who come across persons providing financial advice on stocks and other investment products without a licence should report the matter to MAS.
Consumers who sign up for investment seminars should be wary of promises of high returns that seem too good to be true. MAS is working closely with the Advertising Standards Authority of Singapore to instil more responsible advertising practices amongst such investment course providers. To help consumers, MAS will continue to step up its financial education efforts. Through MoneySENSE, the national financial education programme, MAS has cautioned consumers on such investment seminars through various channels including newspaper articles, radio programmes, social media and educational seminars. To further emphasise the need to exercise caution, consumer alerts are issued to highlight the pitfalls of dealing with unregulated persons, and to advise consumers to conduct independent checks to establish the credibility of claims made by training providers.
Merlyn Ee (Ms) Executive Director (Strategic Planning & Communications) Monetary Authority of Singapore