Financial planners reminded to apply for licence by 31 August 2004

The Securities Commission (SC) reminds those acting as financial planners to get an investment adviser’s licence by 31 August 2004.

The amendments to the Securities Industry Act 1983 (SIA) which clarified the definition of an investment adviser require any person who acts or represents himself as a financial planner to be licensed under Section 14 of the SIA. The amendment came into effect on 5 January 2004, but the SC gave practitioners a grace period until 31 August 2004 to facilitate the licensing process.

After 31 August 2004, any person not licensed by the SC shall not take, use or by inference adopt the name, title or description of financial planner or any name, title or description implying or tending to create the belief that he is a financial planner unless licensed by the SC.

The licensing requirement is aimed at enhancing professionalism and credibility amongst financial planners, and to benefit investors who use financial planning services. Investors are advised to confirm the licensing status of their advisers when they seek investment advice or use the services of financial planners.

Investors may call the SC Licencing Department (tel: 6204 8217) to verify the status of licensed individuals. The list of corporate licensed intermediaries is available on the SC website here.

The SC issued a set of guidelines on 4 March 2004 setting out the pre-licence requirements to facilitate licensing applications. For corporations, the guidelines set out, amongst others, a minimum paid up capital of RM50,000. For individuals, applicants are required to have three years relevant experience in the financial services sector, recognised qualifications – currently being the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) or Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC), and must be a member of the Financial Planning Association of Malaysia (FPAM) or the Malaysian Association of Chartered Financial Consultants (MAChFC), respectively. These qualifications will be reviewed by the SC from time to time.

10 August 2004