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Singapore competition watchdog imposes penalties on 10 financial advisers

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The Competition Commission of Singapore has issued an infringement decision against 10 financial advisers who have been found to have infringed the Competition Act

THE Competition Commission of Singapore (CCS) has issued an infringement decision against 10 financial advisers in Singapore who have been found to have infringed the Competition Act by engaging in an anti-competitive agreement to pressurise their competitor, iFAST, to withdraw its offer of a 50 per cent commission rebate on competing life insurance products on the Fundsupermart.com website.

Financial penalties amounting to S$909,302 in total were imposed on the 10 financial advisers. They are Cornerstone Planners, Financial Alliance, First Principal Financial, Frontier Wealth Management, IPP Financial Advisers, JPARA Solutions, Professional Investment Advisory Services, Promiseland Independent, Ray Alliance Financial Advisers, and Wynnes Financial Advisers.

Toh Han Li, chief executive of CCS, said: "The Fundsupermart Offer was an innovative one that allowed iFAST to reach out to a wide client base through an established online platform, save on distribution costs, and pass on these cost savings to consumers through a significant commission rebate.

"The parties' conduct to collectively pressurise iFAST into withdrawing the Fundsupermart offer prevented the life insurance market from shifting to a more competitive state."

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He added that agreements between competitors to collectively pressurise a competitor to withdraw an offering can constitute anti-competitive conduct. Businesses should instead determine their own individual responses to competition.

"CCS will enforce the law, where necessary, to ensure that new and innovative players can access markets and compete fairly," said Mr Toh.

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