Letters to Editor
Published Date: 27 November 2014

Response to "Reinvent rules for remisiers" - The Business Times, 18 November 2014

26 November 2014

The Editor
Business Times

Dear Editor

We refer to the article by R Sivanithy, “Reinvent rules for remisiers” (The Business Times, 18 Nov 2014).

Mr Sivanithy mentioned that trading representatives (TRs) of broking houses are prohibited from offering investment advice under the Securities and Futures Act (SFA).  We would like to clarify that the provision of financial advice is regulated under the Financial Advisers Act (FAA).  TRs with necessary qualifications and who have passed relevant examinations can provide investment and financial advice, as long as they comply with relevant business conduct requirements under the FAA. The required qualifications and applicable examinations are set out in the Notice on Minimum Entry and Examination Requirements for Representatives of Licensed Financial Advisers and Exempt Financial Advisers (FAA-N13). The business conduct requirements under the FAA are set out in the Notice on Recommendations on Investment Products (FAA-N16), where TRs are required to have a reasonable basis for advice and ensure that the investment product recommended to the customer meets his financial objectives, risk profile and personal situation through a needs analysis assessment.

We agree with Mr Sivanithy that TRs can play a greater professional and advisory role in the market place.  Many TRs of the broking houses today provide what is known as execution-related advice. Such advice is provided in relation to enquiries from customers on their share transaction decisions and execution.  As the provision of such advice does not take into account the financial needs and situation of the individual customer, it is not subject to a needs analysis of the customer.  Qualified TRs who are prepared to comply with the relevant business conduct requirements under the FAA can go beyond providing execution-related advice, to provide a fuller range of personal financial advice for their customers.

MAS will work with the relevant industry stakeholders such as the Society of Remisiers (Singapore), the Securities Association of Singapore and the Securities Investors Association of Singapore to provide greater clarity and guidance to the industry on the scope of financial advice that can be provided by qualified TRs and the applicable business conduct requirements. 

Bey Mui Leng (Ms)
Director (Corporate Communications)
Monetary Authority of Singapore