Business

MAS: Instil good culture in finance industry

Business culture is a key driver of conduct, and more can be done to promote a "positive culture in financial institutions", a senior Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) official said yesterday.

Mr Lee Boon Ngiap, MAS' assistant managing director of capital markets, said financial institutions can expect MAS to "engage them more regularly on what they are doing within their own organisations to shape the right culture".

Mr Lee was speaking at the annual lunch of the Life Insurance Association Singapore (LIA) at Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel. It was held after the LIA's annual general meeting and election of office-bearers and management board for this year.

Mr Lee noted the growing regulatory emphasis on culture and conduct in recent years, adding that the financial industry has continued to be "dogged by egregious misconduct" since the 2008 financial crisis.

"While the life insurance industry may not have been at the forefront of the major misconduct cases making global headlines, some of these conduct costs involve mis-selling of products and inappropriate advice," said Mr Lee.

He highlighted several existing initiatives, such as guidelines on fair dealing in April 2009 and the balanced scorecard framework, which includes factors such as customer feedback when rewarding financial advisers, under the Financial Advisory Industry Review.

Newly-elected LIA president Patrick Teow said the industry is working to implement more recommendations under the review this year.

For instance, "benefit illustrations" will be renamed "policy illustrations", and there will be new disclosures on bundled products, such as those with both insurance and savings elements.

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