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MAS Welcomes Launch of Private Banking Code of Conduct

Singapore, 5 April 2011 [Monetary Authority of Singapore]
  1. The Monetary Authority of Singapore welcomes the launch of a Code of Conduct for the private banking industry in Singapore (PB Code) by the Private Banking Advisory Group (PBAG) today.
  2. The PB Code is the result of an industry-led effort to enhance the competency of private banking professionals and foster high market conduct standards. It is applicable to financial institutions and their staff engaged in private banking activities in Singapore. The PB Code has been developed with recommendations from the PBAG, which comprises representatives from the private banking industry. The broader private banking industry has also been consulted and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and Allen and Gledhill LLP have assisted in drafting the Code.
  3. Under the PB Code, private banking professionals are expected to pass a common competency assessment called the Client Advisor Competency Standards (CACS) before they provide any financial advice. The CACS focuses on broadening and deepening the capabilities of these professionals in the provision of comprehensive private banking services. This assessment will be administered by the Institute of Banking and Finance (IBF). In addition, the PB Code sets out market conduct principles relating to the business conduct of financial institutions and their staff engaged in private banking activities. These principles cover areas such as ethics and professionalism, client relationship management and risk management. The PB Code seeks to promote good industry practices and contribute to the long-term sustainable growth of the private banking industry in Singapore.
  4. Mr. Ng Nam Sin, Assistant Managing Director, MAS, said, “Investors want trusted and competent client advisors who are able to safeguard their longer term interests. Financial institutions which get their fundamentals right will be more assured of success and sustainable growth. The PB Code is a positive step taken by the industry. MAS is supportive of this industry-led effort to strengthen competency levels in a coordinated, industry-wide manner. We look forward to strong participation by the industry in implementing and observing this Code.”
  5. Mr. Tee Fong Seng, Vice Chairman - Asia Pacific and Head of Private Banking Singapore, Credit Suisse, said, “The industry is committed to upholding the competency standards stated in the PB Code. This underscores our efforts to build a competent pool of quality talent within the private banking industry.
  6. Mrs. Christine Ong, Chief Executive of UBS Wealth Management Singapore, said, “The PB Code encourages private banks to invest in talent development. Ultimately, the wealth management business is a people-centric one. Clients want to deal with client advisors who understand their needs, are technically competent, and who are able to help them navigate through market uncertainties and uncover opportunities. They also want a partner who can operate within the tightened standards and regulatory requirements without compromise.”
  7. Mr. Ravi Raju, Private Wealth Management Head of Asia Pacific, Deutsche Bank, added, “In an environment of fast growth where investors become much more sophisticated, successful private banks will be those which are at the forefront of new trends, have invested in portfolio and risk management technology, and have invested in their people to keep pace with the times. Apart from exceptional client service, it is important for relationship managers to build trusted relationships with clients. This can only be achieved if the private banks operating in the region impose some form of self- regulation to ensure that certain professional standards are upheld in the industry. The PB Code encompasses standards that seek to achieve this, signaling the industry’s commitment to improving investor confidence.”
  8. The PB Code can be accessed on the website of the Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS) at www.abs.org.sg. The Code will take effect from 1 September 2011.

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