MAS Enhances Safeguards for the Sale of Financial Products at Retailers and Public Places
Singapore, 23 July 2015… The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) today published a consultation paper outlining measures to safeguard consumers’ interests when buying financial products and services at retailers and public places.
2 MAS proposes to issue Market Conduct Guidelines setting out safeguards that financial institutions1 (FIs) are required to implement when conducting marketing and distribution activities at retailers and public places. These include ensuring that there are adequate controls for a proper sales and advisory process.
3 MAS also proposes to require FIs to notify MAS of their marketing and distribution activities at retailers and public places. This will allow MAS to monitor the extent of such activities and tailor its supervisory approach accordingly.
4 FIs today have various distribution arrangements to market their financial products and services. Some FIs conduct roadshows at shopping mall atriums, bus interchanges or MRT stations. There is also increasing interest from FIs to enter tie-ups with retailers, such as those selling consumer goods and groceries. MAS’ proposals seek to address the risk of consumers making purchases of financial products that may be unsuitable for them when they are prospected at retailers or public places.
5 Most FIs already have controls in place for their marketing and distribution activities at retailers and public places. There are also existing regulations governing the provision of advice on investment and insurance products and the marketing of such products. The proposed Guidelines complement existing rules and practices, and ensure consistency and alignment of standards across the financial industry.
6 Mr Lee Boon Ngiap, Assistant Managing Director (Capital Markets) said, “MAS recognises the importance of marketing and distribution activities at retailers and public places to some FIs’ business models. These proposals seek to strike a balance between allowing FIs flexibility with their marketing and distribution activities, while safeguarding consumers’ interests when they purchase financial products at retailers and public places.”
7 MAS invites interested parties to submit their comments to MnDconsult@mas.gov.sg by 24 August 2015. Please click here to view the consultation paper.
1 These include banks, non-bank credit card and charge card licensees, insurance companies and their intermediaries, capital markets services licence holders and licensed financial advisers.