Number of disputes over insurance claims up

Number of disputes over insurance claims up

CONSUMERS are complaining less about how financial institutions sell their products - partly the effect of tighter rules, the latest report by the financial mediation body shows.

But while overzealous sales pitches are less common, disputes over insurance claims and fees and charges have increased in number, said the Financial Industry Disputes Resolution Centre (Fidrec).

According to its annual report, the number of complaints related to market conduct issues, usually involving aggressive sales tactics or inappropriate advice, fell from 497 last year to 342 this year.

To raise standards for financial advice provided, the Monetary Authority of Singapore introduced the Customer Knowledge Assessment framework this year. Under this framework, financial advisers are required to assess their customers' knowledge and experience before selling a complex product to them.

Mr Seah Seng Choon, the executive director of the Consumers Association of Singapore (Case), said the stricter regulations have helped.

"The other thing is that financial advisers and bankers are also more careful now because of the lessons learnt during the financial crisis."

Even so, the number of complaints about the practices and policies of financial institutions increased 60 per cent to 259 for the year ended June 30.

Fidrec chief executive Ng Wee Jin said it was "not in a position to comment" on the reasons for the increase.

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