Compliance Insight – October 2023
At the end of September, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) finally published amended notices on competency requirements for representatives of holders of capital markets services licences (SFA 04-N22) and of financial advisers (FAA-N26). Fortunately, little will change for representatives of external asset managers (“EAMs”): Representatives who confine their activities to servicing accredited investors and institutional investors remain exempt from the requirements to pass a Capital Markets and Financial Advisory Services Examination (“CMFAS Exam”) or attend continuous professional development (“CPD”). Nonetheless, sufficient capabilities must be ensured, and CPD is highly encouraged. EAMs will need to study the new notices in detail and take any necessary action before the new notices take effect on 1 April 2024.
The MAS has also amended its FAQs on Licensing and Business Conduct (Other than for Fund Management Companies) and FAQs on Financial Advisers Act, Financial Advisers Regulations, Notices and Guidelines to highlight that it will only approve the establishment of subsidiaries and branches for exceptional reasons. Any subsidiary or branch should be established to primarily support the business of the CMS licence holder or financial adviser, as applicable.
Further, the MAS has provided additional clarification regarding the accredited investor opt-in requirement for cross-border business arrangements of capital markets intermediaries involving foreign related corporations and foreign offices. This will generally have no impact on EAMs because they generally have no such cross-border business arrangements in place.
Finally, the MAS announced a reorganisation of its Capital Markets Group (“CMG”). Capital Markets Intermediaries Department II will be reconstituted to supervise investment-related intermediaries and renamed as Investment Intermediaries Department (IID). Among other types of CMS licence holders, IID will continue supervising fund management companies. Consequently, there should be little changes from this reorganisation for EAMs.