Overview of Capital Markets Services in Singapore

HR employment practices and pitfalls to take note of for Fintech start-ups in Singapore

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (“MAS”) had provided guidelines for the recruitment of Financial Advisers’ Representatives and Senior Executives or those in critical functions. These guidelines set out the fit and proper criteria that apply to all relevant persons carrying out any activity regulated by MAS. The relevant person is expected to be competent, honest, to have integrity and to be of sound financial standing. The onus is on each relevant person to establish that it or he is a fit and proper person rather than for MAS to show otherwise. In addition, the relevant person needs to satisfy the minimum academic qualification and examination requirements set out in Notice FAA-N13 Minimum Entry and Examination Requirements for Representatives of Licensed Financial Advisers and Exempt Financial Advisers.

Therefore, as an organization, we need to do the following:

1. Engage reliable search agencies
Instead of engaging big names or mass recruitment agencies, preference is to go for boutique search firms where I felt they will direct their resources to our mandates. Of course, due diligence is necessary to engage the right search agency and usually, we will engage up to 3 agencies; depending on the availability of the role in the job market.

2. Do our own due diligence on the potential candidates
The market place is not too big and it is easy to make informal reference checks on potential candidates; especially if they are super stars or they have breached MAS regulations.

3. Training and development
This is essential; especially compliance and product training, so that our Financial Adviser Representatives are up to speed with regulatory requirements and market needs.

4. Documentation
Properly documented and regularly updated HR policies, Staff Code of Conduct and Compliance Manual is necessary to ensure full compliance.