Enforcement Actions
Published Date: 02 December 2020

MAS bans two former insurance agents for dishonest conduct

Singapore, 2 December 2020... The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has issued prohibition orders (POs) against two former insurance agents for dishonest conduct:

Name Duration of POs 
Mr Chong Yoon Loi,
former representative of Aviva Financial Advisers Pte Ltd (AFA)
 4 years
Mr Suresh Kannan,
former representative of The Great Eastern Life Assurance Company Limited (GEL)
 2 years

2     The POs were issued against these individuals following MAS’ investigations into their dishonest conduct involving the sale of integrated shield plans. The POs took effect from 2 December 2020.

Four-year POs against Mr Chong Yoon Loi

3     Mr Chong is prohibited for a period of four years from (i) providing any financial advisory service, or taking part in the management of, acting as a director of, or becoming a substantial shareholder of any financial advisory firm under the Financial Advisers Act (Cap. 110) (FAA); and (ii) carrying on business as, or taking part in the management of, any insurance intermediary under the Insurance Act (Cap. 142) (IA)The POs against Mr Chong were issued under section 59(1)(bc) read with section 23J(1)(h)(iii) of the FAA, and section 35V(1)(b)(v) of the IA, as well as section 35V(1)(b)(iii) read with section 35R(3)(a), of the IA.

4     Between May and August 2017, Mr Chong sold integrated shield policies from Aviva Ltd to three policyholders who had already purchased such policies from another insurer when they were in good health. Mr Chong wilfully misled two of the policyholders into believing that they could hold more than one integrated shield policy, when their applications for the new integrated shield policies would in fact result in the termination of their previous policies. This could have resulted in serious consequences for the policyholders, as new insurance policies do not cover medical conditions that policyholders already suffer from at the time of entry into force of the policies. Hence, the policyholders could have lost insurance cover for medical conditions that they had developed since the purchase of their original policies. 

5     Mr Chong had also intentionally provided various false information in the applications of the three policyholders to Aviva Ltd and AFA. He did this mainly to prevent the policyholders from being identified as vulnerable clients which might have led to AFA contacting them to ensure that they had understood the policies that they were purchasing.  

Two-year POs against Mr Suresh Kannan

6     Mr Kannan is prohibited for a period of two years from (i) providing any financial advisory service, or taking part in the management of, acting as a director of, or becoming a substantial shareholder of any financial advisory firm under the FAA; and (ii) carrying on business as, or taking part in the management of, any insurance intermediary under the IAThe POs against Mr Kannan were issued under section 59(1)(bb) read with section 23J(1)(h)(iii) of the FAA, and section 59(1)(bb) read with section 23J(1)(m) of the FAA, and section 35V(1)(b)(i) of the IA.

7      In March 2018, Mr Kannan forged the signature of one policyholder in an application for the purchase of an integrated shield plan. Mr Kannan also declared in the application form that the policyholder did not have any pre-existing medical conditions, without checking with the policyholder if this was true. This conduct could have resulted in the policy being rendered invalid, and the policyholder denied insurance cover, due to the non-disclosure of material information to the insurer.

Additional information

Section 59(1)(bb) of the Financial Advisers Act (Cap. 110)

Under this section, the Authority may make a prohibition order against a person who was a representative of an exempt financial adviser, if the Authority has reason to believe that circumstances exist under which, if the person were an appointed or provisional representative, there would exist a ground on which the Authority may revoke under section 23J of the FAA his status as an appointed or provisional representative.

Section 59(1)(bc) of the Financial Advisers Act (Cap. 110)

Under this section, the Authority may make a prohibition order against a person who was a representative of a licensed financial adviser, if the Authority has reason to believe that circumstances exist under which there would exist a ground on which the Authority may revoke under section 23J of the FAA his status as an appointed or provisional representative.

Section 23J(1)(h)(iii) of the Financial Advisers Act (Cap. 110)
 
Under this section, the Authority may revoke the status of an individual as an appointed or provisional representative if the Authority has reason to believe that he has not performed, or will not perform, the type of financial advisory service for which he is appointed efficiently, honestly or fairly.

Section 23J(1)(m) of the Financial Advisers Act (Cap. 110)

Under this section, the Authority may revoke the status of an individual as an appointed or provisional representative if the Authority is of the opinion that it would be contrary to the interests of the public to allow him to continue as an appointed or provisional representative.

Section 35R(3)(a) of the Insurance Act (Cap. 142) 

Under this section, no insurance intermediary shall, with intent to deceive, in relation to a proposed contract of insurance write on a form, being a form that is given or sent to an insurer, any matter that is material to the contract and is false or misleading in a material particular.
                                 
Section 35V(1)(b) of the Insurance Act (Cap. 142)

Under this section, the Authority may, by order, prohibit any person from carrying on business as an insurance intermediary or from taking part, directly or indirectly, in the management of any insurance intermediary where the Authority is satisfied that the person has —

(i) forged policyholders’ signatures;
(iii) contravened any provision of the IA; or
(v) wilfully misled any policyholder when assisting him to fill up the proposal form.

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