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Saturday, September 27, 2008

Failed to Obtain Latest CAR of Insurance Companies from MAS

The Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) of insurance companies posted on the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) website shows record for the year 2007. They are outdated.

Recently, I sent an email to the MAS to request for a more up-to-date CARs values of insurance companies operating in Singapore, to reflect more genuine liquidity amid the trying year 2008 economic conditions. We have already seen 9 months passed for year 2008 and I feel we as consumers should not be deprived of first-hand key economic ratios.

The reply by MAS was disappointing. MAS replied with an assurance that they are glad that insurance companies including AIA reported healthy CARs. I reinforced and highlighted my request for CARs values in my follow-up email. I made clear what I was expecting to obtain from them. MAS replied promptly but was again a total disappointment. Other than assurance, it's just another similar assurance. They never did address my question. Knowing the unwillingness of MAS in disseminating up-to-date information to public, I gave up. I replied and mentioned my disappointment and why I conceded because of MAS in sharing. MAS closed this case and never follow up. MAS seems to be indifferent to my unhappiness.

I cannot accept MAS unwillingness to release up-to-date information to public. Singapore claims to aspire to be a regional financial hub, however, with this "attitude", it's no wonder Hong Kong is still way ahead. My personal opinion on the handling by MAS to the recent outcry by ordinary folks who have lost several thousands due to alleged mis-selling of risk adverse investment products by banks is not what I would prefer it to be. MAS leaves the investors to deal with financial institutions directly instead of intervening directly and organizing independent board to address this problem. The Hong Kong Monetary Authority did one step further by direct intervention.

I hope more can be done in disseminating information to the public. The current economic condition can be an opportunity for MAS to review its process and workflow.

Capital Adequacy Ratio of Insurance Companies Operating in Singapore for Year 2007

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