March 2, 2015    


The Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS) and Securities Association of Singapore (SAS) today launched an online e-learning portal on unlisted Specified Investment Products (SIPs). SIPs are investment products which contain derivatives or have features and risks that are relatively more complex. The e-learning portal was jointly developed by ABS and SAS as an industry initiative.

Investors can access the E-Learning Portal for Investors at no charge and at their own time and pace. The portal at http://sips.abs.org.sg/ captures the key features and risks of the unlisted SIPs to allow retail investors to better understand such products. There is an assessment at the end of each module. Investors can still invest in unlisted SIPs with suitable advice without undergoing this assessment.

Financial intermediaries conduct the Customer Knowledge Assessment (CKA) to assess if a retail investor understands the features and risks of unlisted SIPs. Even if an investor passes the assessment, financial intermediaries should advise the investor on product suitability before he makes an investment decision. Investors can choose not to receive advice or act against advice given, having been alerted to the consequences of doing so.

Upon passing an assessment, investors will receive a certificate via email which they can present to their financial intermediaries for the purposes of the CKA. This complements the existing e-learning module developed by the Singapore Exchange (SGX) for listed SIPs and will allow investors to educate themselves on all SIPs at their convenience.

The ABS-SAS e-learning portal offers 5 modules:

(a)       Foreign Exchange Margin Trading;

(b)        Contracts For Difference;

(c)        Structured Deposits and Dual Currency Investments;

(d)        Unit Trusts and Investment-linked Insurance Policies;

(e)       Structured Products.

Said Mrs Ong-Ang Ai Boon, Director of ABS, “Consumers must not invest if they do not understand the products’ features and risks.  While the banks and the financial advisory industry are responsible to promote financial literacy, consumers should also be proactive in making use of the e-learning portal to educate themselves on any of the modules, if interested, so as to be able to make informed investment decisions.”

“Financial intermediaries already have existing processes to assess customer suitability for investing in SIPs. This portal would be helpful to provide an additional data point in assessing an investor’s knowledge in unlisted SIPs,” said Ms Melinda Sam, CEO of SAS.