MAS Withdraws the Exemption of three Insurance Brokers under the Financial Advisers Act
Singapore, 22 December 2008...The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has directed Acclaim Insurance Brokers Pte Ltd (AIB), Leadenhall Insurance Brokers Pte Ltd (LIB), and Magnetron Insurance & Financial Services Pte Ltd (MIFS) to cease the provision of financial advisory services for new transactions by 23 December 2008. With effect from 22 January 2009, MAS will withdraw AIB, LIB and MIFS' exemption under section 23(1) of the Financial Advisers Act ("FAA") from the requirement to hold a financial advisers licence. This means that they will no longer be permitted to provide financial advisory services in Singapore.
2 AIB, LIB and MIFS are registered insurance brokers and conduct direct insurance broking business relating to general insurance under the Insurance Act. Under the single licensing regime, they are exempted from the requirement to hold a financial adviser’s licence in respect of the provision of any financial advisory services.
3 Following thorough inspections of AIB, LIB and MIFS in 2008 in respect of their provision of financial advisory services, MAS found contraventions of the FAA. Further, MAS found that they did not have adequate management oversight nor control policies and procedures for their financial advisory operations, including the monitoring of the conduct of their representatives or introducers and complaints investigation and resolution process. MAS is withdrawing the exempt status of AIB, LIB and MIFS on the grounds of their contraventions of the FAA and in the public interest.
4 MAS has directed AIB, LIB and MIFS to ensure all outstanding order instructions and applications received from clients, and monies held on behalf of clients are forwarded to the relevant parties. Further, MAS has directed them to inform their clients of the cessation of their provision of financial advisory services, the effects of such cessation on their investments or insurance policies (if any) and persons to whom clients can contact for any queries relating to the withdrawal of their exemption.
5 The existing investment accounts maintained by clients of AIB, LIB and MIFS with platform providers such as iFAST Financial Pte Ltd and Navigator Investment Services Pte Ltd remain in force. Clients of AIB, LIB and MIFS who have any queries on their investment accounts should contact their respective insurance broker or platform provider.
6 The status of the life insurance policies of clients of AIB, LIB and MIFS and the premiums paid under such policies to AIB, LIB and MIFS will not be affected. Under the Insurance Act, payment of insurance premiums by policyholders to an insurance intermediary such as AIB, LIB and MIFS are deemed payment to the relevant insurance companies. Clients of AIB, LIB and MIFS who have any queries on their life insurance coverage or payment of insurance premiums should contact their respective insurance broker or insurer.
7 The contact information of AIB, MIFS and LIB are: