A new online platform by unit trust distributor Fundsupermart.com is no longer offering Singapore stock trading.
FSMOne put up a notice on its www.fsmone.com website yesterday, saying: "Due to a sudden decision by OCBC Securities, our appointed counter party, to turn off our connection to the Singapore Exchange (SGX), no trading in SGX stocks or exchange-traded funds (ETFs) is available." It added that trading in Hong Kong stocks and ETFs was not affected.
Asked about the abrupt decision, iFast chairman and chief executive Lim Chung Chun would only say: "In my opinion, they are afraid of competition to their retail base."
OCBC Securities' general manager Yeow Chin Wee said: "We are able to provide such an arrangement if the intermediary's business model does not involve offering services identical to those we provide our customers."
iFast has FSMOne and also online unit-trust distributor Fundsupermart.com under its stable.
As an appointed counterparty, OCBC Securities acted as a middleman to execute and settle SGX stock and ETF trades for FMSOne.
The Straits Times understands the platform was to be given a notice period of three months before OCBC Securities turned off the connection to the SGX, but it happened in just one hour before the market opened yesterday.
Mr Lim said earlier this week that SGX trades were routed through a counter party and iFast had already applied to be an SGX trading member to trade on the local bourse. It hoped to become a member next year, subject to relevant approval.
iFast added that "it will be a matter of time before FSMOne resumes the availability of SGX stock and ETF trading to investors".