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     FrontPage Edition: Wed 27 October 2004

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MAS issues guidelines on switching


The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) today (26 Oct 2004) issued Guidelines on Switching of Designated Investment Products ("Guidelines").

The Guidelines aim to provide guidance to financial advisers on the controls, processes and procedures MAS expects them to put in place to monitor and deter undesirable switching activities.

They also include disclosure requirements to ensure that consumers are fully informed of the costs and implications of switching.

The Guidelines recommend that financial advisers structure remuneration packages that reward representatives who provide professional advice to consumers.

MAS considers that any remuneration structure based solely on sales volume may encourage product pushing and undesirable switching.

It is an offence under the Financial Advisers Act ("FAA") for a financial adviser or its representatives to engage in switching activities that are detrimental to the interest of consumers.

Our regulatory regime aims to safeguard the interest of consumers by ensuring that financial advisers recommend investment products that are suitable for consumers and that they disclose to consumers the key features of the product being recommended including the risks of buying the product, the fees and charges to be borne by the consumer, and the remuneration that the financial adviser will receive for the recommendation.

In conjunction with the release of the Guidelines, MAS has published a consumer alert explaining what switching is and what consumers can do to protect their interests. The alert is available on the consumer portal at 

The Guidelines and MAS' response to the feedback received from the public consultation are available on MAS' website.

Source: Monetary Authority of Singapore Press Release 26 Oct 2004

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