Under the consultation paper, the issuers are required to provide more clearer information about complex financial products. But, the question is, will this approach prevent the sale of toxic products?
The credit linked notes, which were allowed to be sold, were toxic because they carry 5 to 8 times the risk of ordinary bonds. The issuer was able to package these toxic products and offer a low rate of return to the unsuspecting investors.
It will be difficult for the ordinary people to understand the risk of these products. They have to rely on the adviser. If the adviser is not aware of the risk, then the chance of mis-selling is high.
There is already an existing requirement for the issuer to provide relevant information about the product that is registered for sale to the public. If the authority is not willing to enforce this requirement under the existing regulation, will the "better disclosure standard" prevent a similar problem from recurring several years into the future?
A better solution is to have independent experts to certify the risk of the product. This independent experts must be appointed by the approving body and not by the product issuer.
If the independent experts cannot certify the products to be fairly designed and described, the authority should not allowed the product to be sold.
This is similar to the certification of drugs. If the drugs is not tested to be safe and effective, it is not allowed to be sold to the public.
I hope that MAS will consider this point. I shall be submitting this suggestion in reply to the consultation paper.
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