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MAS to help consumers access lower-cost investment products

The Monetary Authority of Singapore is working on initiatives to make it easier for consumers to access simple, lower cost investment products.

SINGAPORE: The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is working on initiatives to make it easier for consumers to access simple, lower cost investment products.

Speaking at the release of the MAS annual report, managing director Ravi Menon said a reason why consumers venture into unconventional and often risky products is that simple, lower-cost products are not easily available. He added that MAS will introduce a direct channel for consumers to buy insurance products. Such products will be cheaper as there is no need to pay for distribution costs.

Mr Menon added that by early next year, consumers who do not require financial advice will be able to purchase term and whole life insurance products directly from insurers. Details will be announced by the end of the month.

The central bank is also working to facilitate better retail access to fixed income products. A proposal will be put out for consultation next month. MAS will also continue to look at ways to enhance disclosure and information access for consumers.

These include an online portal that allows a comparison of various term insurance, whole life and endowment products. The online portal is targeted for roll-out in early 2015.

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