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In brief

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has recently issued its response to the feedback received1 on its previous consultation dated 6 July 20182 (“Response“). In the Response, MAS confirmed changes that will be made to the misconduct reporting regime, and the introduction of a new requirement mandating relevant financial institutions (FIs) to perform and respond to reference checks in accordance with a common baseline standard.


In summary:

(a) There will be changes to the list of reportable misconduct of representatives and broking staff (collectively, “Representatives“) under the relevant MAS Notices.3

(b) MAS will expand on its expectations on the rigour and quality of FIs’ investigations into misconduct committed by Representatives.

(c) There will be changes to the reporting forms, comprising a misconduct report and an investigation report, as well as the reporting timelines.

(c) FIs will be required to extend copies of misconduct reports filed with the MAS to the Representatives.

(d) FIs will be mandated to carry out and respond to reference checks on proposed Representatives, with their previous or current employers, under a common standard framework.

Further details on the above changes, and other related changes, are set out below.

The new requirements follow a series of proposals aimed at enhancing fitness and propriety and individual accountability. These include the new Guidelines on Individual Accountability and Conduct,4 which will come into effect on 10 September 2021.

Further, on 14 May 2021, MAS also issued a Consultation Paper on Proposals to Mandate Reference Checks,5 proposing to extend the mandatory reference check to a broader segment of the financial industry, and on a broader segment of employees. This consultation closes on 25 June 2021. A summary of this Consultation may be found in our client alert Singapore: MAS consults on proposals to mandate reference checks.

Click here to access the full version.


1 Please see: https://www.mas.gov.sg/-/media/MAS/News-and-Publications/Consultation-Papers/2021/Response-to-Revisions-to-Misconduct-Reporting-and-Reference-Checks-Requirements.pdf

2 Please see our earlier Alert: MAS proposes to standardise misconduct reporting and reference check details for a summary of these proposals.

3 Notice SFA 04-N11 under the Securities and Futures Act , Notice FAA-N14 under the Financial Advisers Act, and Notice 504 under the Insurance Act

4 Please see: https://www.mas.gov.sg/regulation/guidelines/guidelines-on-individual-accountability-and-conduct

5 Please see: https://www.mas.gov.sg/publications/consultations/2021/consultation-paper-on-proposals-to-mandate-reference-checks#:~:text=This%20consultation%20seeks%20views%20on,a%20specified%20period%20of%20time.

Author

Stephanie Magnus co-heads the Asia Pacific Financial Institutions Group and heads up the Financial Services Regulatory Practice Group in Singapore. Stephanie is ranked Band 1 for FinTech in Singapore by Chambers FinTech 2020. She is also ranked as a Leading Individual for Financial Services Regulatory: Local Firms in Singapore by Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2020. She is recognised as a leading lawyer for Banking & Finance: Regulatory in Singapore by Chambers Asia Pacific and Chambers Global 2020. Stephanie was quoted in Chambers Asia Pacific for her "timely, practical and business-oriented" advice, with a "deep understanding of the regulatory regime." She is also recognised as "very business-savvy and brilliant every time," and is admired for her "very strong grasp of the legal issues from both a technical and practical perspective."

Author

Eunice Tan is a local principal in the Financial Services Regulatory Practice Group of Baker McKenzie's Singapore office. She specialises in regulatory, legal and compliance matters affecting the financial services industry. She has been consistently recognised in Legal 500 Asia Pacific as the Next Generation Lawyer for Financial Services Regulatory, where she was "singled out for being smart and having the ability to navigate the Singapore regulatory landscape" and "is responsive, pleasant and willing to explore different parameters". Eunice graduated from King's College, London in 2004. She was admitted as Barrister-at-Law of England & Wales in 2005 and was called to the Singapore Bar in 2007.

Author

Zhao Yang Ng is a senior associate in Baker McKenzie's Singapore office.

Author

Ying Yi is a local principal in the Financial Services Practice Group of Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow in Singapore. She focuses on regulatory and compliance issues in the financial services sector.

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