Yesterday, the Association of Financial Advisers held their annual congress.
An executive director from MAS was there to give the opening address. She spoke about the state of under-insurance in Singapore, and how Singaporeans were not always receiving quality advice.
The vision for the financial advisory industry in Singapore is for financial advisers to be viewed as professionals, just like lawyers, engineers and accountants, with their own code of conduct and high standards of practice. We are still a far distance from that.
To achieve the vision, financial advisory firms would have to focus on three key areas:
a) first, the Board and senior management need to set the right tone and culture to promote fair dealing with customers;
b) second, representatives have to adopt a long-term view of the business and build trust with their customers; and
c) third, financial advisory firms need to invest resources to build robust systems and processes to support their business.
Consumers also have a role to play and should take charge of their own financial education so that they know what are the correct questions to ask.
The industry should also be more proactive about initiating changes that improves the standards of practice. If they do that, there will be less of a need for MAS to do that for them.
The full text of the speech can be found here: