When assessing an application for an FA licence, MAS takes into account factors such as:
- Fitness and propriety of the applicant, its shareholders and directors.
- Track record, management expertise and financial soundness of the applicant and its parent company or major shareholders.
- Ability to meet the minimum financial requirements and professional indemnity insurance requirements prescribed under the FAA.
- Strength of internal compliance systems.
- Business plans and projections.
Your company will also need to appoint the following individuals:
- Minimum of 2 directors, at least one of whom is resident in Singapore.
- Chief Executive Officer, who is resident in Singapore, with at least 10 years of relevant experience, of which at least 5 years must have been in a managerial capacity.
- Minimum of 3 full-time Singapore-based individuals with at least 5 years of relevant working experience.
MAS conducted a Financial Advisory Industry Review (FAIR) in 2012. One of the objectives of FAIR was to enhance the admission criteria and ongoing requirements for FA applicants and licensees. To ensure a smooth transition for new entrants when the enhanced requirements come into effect, MAS expects all FA licence applicants to meet the enhanced requirements (listed below):
(i) Base capital requirement
If your company only advises others by issuing or promulgating research analyses or research reports concerning investment products, you are required to maintain a minimum base capital of S$250,000.
For all other types of financial advisory activities, you are required to maintain a minimum base capital of S$500,000, or a lower base capital of S$300,000 plus an additional professional indemnity insurance of S$500,000.
(ii) Financial resources requirementYou are required to maintain financial resources that are the higher of:
a) ¼ of your relevant annual expenditure of the preceding financial year; or
(iii) Professional indemnity insurance (PII)
You are required to have in force a PII policy with varying limits depending on the type of financial advisory services provided. The breakdown is as follows:
a) For those advising others by issuing or promulgating research analyses or research reports concerning any investment product only, a PII limit of S$500,000 applies;
b) For all others:
i. With revenue not more than S$5 million, a PII limit of S$1 million applies;
ii. With revenue more than S$5 million, a PII limit that is the lower of (i) 20% of gross revenue or (ii) S$10 million applies.
If your company is applying for an FA licence, you should submit under the . If your company already holds an FA licence for certain regulated activities and wishes to add another activity to the FA licence, you should submit under the .
In addition, if your company hires or appoints individuals to conduct a regulated activity under your licence, you have to appoint these individuals or provisional representative for that regulated activity. You can refer to the page for more information.
MAS expects to take not more than 4 months to review and process an application if the business model is straightforward, the applicant meets the relevant admission criteria fully, and the application is complete and clear. For more complex cases, or cases where information is assessed to be incomplete or inaccurate, MAS will need a longer time to review the application.
Please ensure that your company's application is complete, correct and accompanied by the requisite supporting documents.
For corporate annual fees, you will need to pay a fixed fee of S$2,000 per year, regardless of the number of different financial advisory services your company provides. There will also be a variable corporate annual fee calculated at S$5 per representative from the 101st representative onwards as at 1 January of the calendar year.
The licence is valid until:
- The licensee stops conducting all the regulated activities on the licence, and the licence is cancelled by MAS;
- The licence is revoked by MAS; or
- The licence lapses in accordance with .
If a financial adviser also intends to provide insurance broking services to its customers, it will have to lodge a notification (using under the for commencement of business as an exempt insurance broker.
Individuals appointed as broking staff by exempt insurance brokers are not required to be registered or authorised by the MAS but must comply with the minimum standards and examination requirements for broking staff set out in.
The exempt insurance broker and its broking staff will have to comply with the relevant conduct requirements under the IA.
For more information on the common approvals, notifications and other regulatory submissions relevant to financial advisers, please refer to the .
For more information on the common approvals, notifications and other regulatory submissions relevant to insurance brokers, please refer to the .