Singapore

MAS issues prohibition orders against six people for mis-selling

Misconduct by insurance agents and relationship manager included forgery

Prohibition orders have been issued against five insurance advisers and one relationship manager for mis-selling insurance and investment products.

This is the first time the Monetary Authority of Singapore has issued such orders against insurance agents for mis-selling breaches.

Three of the advisers were from AIA and two from Prudential. The relationship manager was from Citi Singapore.

The offences involved 29 clients, 48 insurance policies and one structured note.

Most of the offences are understood to have taken place between 2013 and 2015 and one in 2009.

Some of the mis-selling involved "vulnerable" clients, defined as those over 62 and not proficient in spoken or written English or have below GCE O- or N-level qualifications.

The prohibition orders ranged from two to seven years.

They bar individuals from providing any financial advisory service and from taking part in the management, serving as director or becoming a substantial shareholder of any financial advisory or capital market services firm.

MISCONDUCT

The misconduct included forgery, making false or misleading statements to clients or to the insurer, providing financial advice without due consideration for a client's financial situation and improper switching.

The misconduct by two former insurance agents - Mr David Hiah Xinkai of Prudential and Ms Heng Goid Hoon of AIA - involved mis-selling products to vulnerable clients, offences that carry stiffer penalties.

The order served on Mr Hiah is for seven years; the one on Ms Heng is for four years.

AIA said: "AIA Singapore expects all representatives to adhere to the highest ethical standards, and representatives who are found to have committed fraudulent acts and/or misconduct shall be appropriately dealt with.

"The affected customers have been remediated for any losses that they may have suffered."

The other insurance advisers censured were former AIA agents Koh Mei Ling and Jane Yeo Hui Rong, and Mr Nigel Chua Bingquan, who was with Prudential. They received prohibition orders for three years.

Citi said relationship manager Zheng Xuemei was dismissed in 2016. She was given a two-year prohibition order.

It said: "We do not tolerate any misconduct that goes against the laws of the country and/or the policies of the bank." - THE STRAITS TIMES

BUSINESS & FINANCE