No extension of deadline for financial advisers to pass new exam

The Monetary Authority of Singapore said on Tuesday that it would not be extending the deadline for financial advisers to pass an exam that will enable them to sell investment-linked products (ILP).

Financial advisers now have up till June 30 to pass the Capital Markets and Financial Advisory Services Examination Module 9A (M9A).

The exam tests them on their knowledge and understanding of the advantages and risks in structured products, especially structured ILPs. Those who do not pass the test by the deadline will be allowed to sell only vanilla life and term insurance products, or endowment plans.

According to a survey by the regulator, more than 12,000 of 17,500 representatives from 24 financial institutions polled, have passed the module.

Around 95 per cent of financial advisers employed by banks have passed the test, but only 66 per cent and 60 per cent of those employed by insurers and financial advisory firms respectively have made the grade.

Nearly a quarter of tied insurance agents and independent financial advisors have also yet to make an attempt since the requirement was announced last year.

The MAS also said that to help a small group of older, Chinese-educated representatives who have not been able to pass the exam, the Singapore College of Insurance will offer a Chinese version of the test for Chinese-educated representatives aged 45 and above as at 1 January 2013. They must also have made at least two unsuccessful attempts in English.