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Singapore - FA firms urged to embed culture of fair dealing

Source: Asia Insurance Review | Aug 2015

Licensed financial advisory (FA) firms have been urged to instil a culture of fair dealing within their organisations and to always place customer interest ahead of short-term gains. The call was made by Ms Merlyn Ee, the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s Executive Director, at the Association of Financial Advisers’ (AFA(S)) annual conference recently.
   Having the right corporate culture embedded by the top management will ensure that FA firms retain the trust of consumers, she said. 
   “For all FA firms, their reputation is arguably their most valuable asset. Yet this is something so fragile. One or two instances of serious misconduct in the media headlines can do significant damage to a company’s reputation,” she said. 
   “Gaining the trust of customers essentially means that financial advisers have to look beyond short term gains and act in their customers’ best interests.”
   However, she also praised the FA firms who have strived “to do right by the customer”, stating there have been numerous examples when FA firms have given the benefit of the doubt to vulnerable customers. 
 
AFAS remains an important partner
Turning to the role of AFAS, Ms Ee said the association remains an “important partner” who, amongst other things, has provided valuable feedback and suggestions during the FAIR review. 
   She added the MAS will continue to engage AFAS closely in its ongoing regulatory reviews and consumer education efforts. “We also welcome opportunities to co-create initiatives with important stakeholders such as consumer bodies and industry associations so that we can achieve win-win outcomes for consumers and the industry alike,” said Ms Ee.
 
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