MAS Expands Fair Dealing Guidelines to All Financial Institutions and Services

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) on 30 May 2024 issued an updated set of Guidelines on Fair Dealing, expanding its scope to include all financial institutions (FIs) and all products and services they offer. This significant update aims to enhance standards of fair dealing and improve customer experience across the financial sector.

Under the revised Guidelines, FIs are expected to incorporate key principles of fair dealing at various stages of a product’s lifecycle or services rendered. Customers can now anticipate a higher standard of service, including products tailored to target market needs, appropriate product recommendations with accurate information, clear explanations of terms and conditions, and independent handling of feedback.

First introduced in 2009 under the Financial Advisers Act, the original Guidelines focused on the selection, marketing, and distribution of investment products, as well as the provision of advice and post-sales services. The updated scope now formally includes all FIs and their dealings beyond just advisory services and investment products, maintaining the core objectives of fair dealing and customer outcomes.

Ms. Ho Hern Shin, Deputy Managing Director (Financial Supervision) at MAS, emphasized the importance of this update: “This update to the Fair Dealing Guidelines reflects MAS’ expectation for all financial institutions to treat all customers fairly. This must be a foundational value championed by boards and senior management. Fair dealing should be demonstrated across all activities that impact the customer, from product design to post-sales service. We look forward to financial institutions implementing these guidelines robustly.”

The expanded guidelines also have significant implications for crypto entities operating within Singapore. Crypto-related FIs must now adhere to the same stringent standards of fair dealing as traditional financial institutions. This includes ensuring that crypto products are suited to the needs of their target market, providing clear and accurate information, and handling customer feedback independently and responsively. This move by MAS aims to ensure a level playing field and protect consumers in the rapidly evolving crypto market.

(Updated Guideline link: