Product Related

Specified Investment Products (SIP)

What are the new measures and requirements introduced by the MAS to safeguard the interest of Retail Investors?

Effective 1 January 2012, financial institutions such as broking firms, banks and financial advisors are required to assess if a retail investor has the relevant knowledge or experience to understand the risks and features of a Specified Investment Product (SIP) before offering the product to him/her.

What are "Specified Investment Products" (SIPs)?

Specified Investment Products (SIPs) are financial products that may not be as widely understood by retail investors as others, as their structures, features and risks may be more complex in nature.

There are two categories of SIPs:

  1. Listed SIPs

    Examples of SIPs listed on Singapore Exchange (SGX) and Overseas Exchange securities markets include the following:

    • Certificates
    • Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs)
    • Exchange Traded Notes (ETNs)
    • Futures (Extended Settlement Contracts)
    • Structured Warrants
    • Callable Bull / Bear Contracts (CBBCs)
  2. Unlisted SIPs

    Examples of Unlisted SIPs include the following:

    • Over-The-Counter Products
    • Leveraged Foreign Exchange
How will the new requirements affect Retail Investors like me?

If you wish to trade SIPs, financial institutions will have to conduct the following reviews based on your declaration of your educational qualifications, work experience and investment or trading experience before offering any SIP to you:

  • Customer Account Review ("CAR") for Listed SIPs; and
  • Customer Knowledge Assessment ("CKA") for Unlisted SIPs.
What are the criteria used to qualify the investor in the Customer Account Review ("CAR") and the Customer Knowledge Assessment ("CKA")?

The criteria used to qualify the investor in CAR and CKA are as follows:

    1. Educational Qualifications

      Diploma or higher qualifications in one of the following fields:

      • Accountancy
      • Actuarial Science
      • Business Administration/Business Management/Business Studies
      • Capital Markets
      • Commerce/ Economics /Finance
      • Financial Engineering
      • Financial Planning / Computational Finance and Insurance
      • Professional Finance-related qualifications ( including Chartered Financial Analyst Examination conducted by CFA Institute, USA and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) Qualifications)
    2. Working Experience

Have a minimum of 3 consecutive years of working experience (such working experience would also include the provision of legal advice or possession of legal expertise on the relevant areas listed below) in the past 10 years, in the development of, structuring of, management of, sale of, trading of, research on or analysis of investment products, or the provision of training in investment products (as defined in Section 2 of the Financial Advisers Act (Cap. 110)). Work experience in Accountancy, Actuarial Science, Treasury or Financial Risk Management activities will also be considered relevant experience.

Note: Support functions in the areas mentioned above that are administrative or clerical in nature will not be considered as relevant experience.

  1. Investment Experience
    • CAR - At least 6 transactions in Listed SIPs in the preceding 3 years.
    • CKA - At least 6 transactions in the specific Unlisted SIP in the preceding 3 years.

For example, with the new requirements becoming effective on 1 January 2012, the period of the preceding 3 years is from 1 January 2009 to 31 December 2011. If you have a DBS Vickers online Trading Account, you can check whether you have the sufficient number of trades to qualify you to be eligible for trading or investing in SIPs by logging in to your online account.

If you do not have a DBS Vickers online Trading Account but you have an offline Trading Account, you can contact your trading representative to check your eligibility status for trading or investing in SIPs.

Do I have to fulfill all 3 criteria in order to qualify for the CAR and/or CKA?

To qualify for the CAR and/or CKA, you only need to satisfy ONE of the 3 criteria.

For Joint Trading Account or an Individual Account with Mandate, who must qualify for the CAR and/or CKA?
  1. For Joint Trading Account - Both Account Holders must qualify for the CAR and/or CKA.
  2. For Individual Account with Mandate - Both Primary Account Holder and the Mandate must qualify for the CAR and/or CKA.
Who is exempted from CAR and/or CKA?

Expert Investors** as defined under the Securities and Futures Act (SFA) or any other applicable law or regulation are exempted from CAR and/or CKA. Corporate clients are also exempted.

**Expert Investor means-

  1. a person whose business involves the acquisition and disposal, or the holding, of capital markets products, whether as principal or agent;
  2. the trustee of such trust as the Authority may prescribe, when acting in that capacity; or
  3. such other person as the Authority may prescribe.
What if I do not qualify for the CAR and CKA?

If you do not qualify for the CAR but still wish to invest in Listed SIPs, you have to visit https://onlineeducation.sgx.com/specifiedinvestmentproducts/ to take the SGX Quiz. Upon passing, please provide us with your quiz results by calling our Customer Service Line at (65) 6327 2288 or emailing to info-sg@dbsvonline.com with your Trading Account number, full name and NRIC/Passport Number.

What if the main Account Holder qualifies for the CAR but the 2nd Account Holder (in the Joint Trading Account) or the mandatee does not qualify for the CAR?

The 2nd account holder or the Mandatee has to visit

https://onlineeducation.sgx.com/specifiedinvestmentproducts/ to take the SGX Quiz. Upon passing, please provide us with your Quiz results by calling our Customer Service Line at (65) 6327 2288 or emailing to info-sg@dbsvonline.com with your Trading Account number, 2nd Account Holder's or Mandatee's full name and NRIC/Passport Number.

What if I cannot qualify for both the CAR/CKA and the SGX quiz but wish to dispose of free balance shares (SIPs) or contra outstanding positions (SIPs) bought before 1 Jan 2012?

You will be allowed to dispose of your free balance shares or contra outstanding positions bought before 1 Jan 2012. However you will not be allowed to purchase Listed SIPs (in the case of CAR) or Unlisted SIPs (in the case of CKA.)

How do I complete the CAR and CKA?

If you have a DBS Vickers online trading account, you can login at www.dbsvickers.com to complete the relevant online form(s). Alternatively, you can download the relevant form(s) here, complete and return to us via post.

What is the validity period if I qualify for the CAR and CKA?

After you are assessed to be qualified to trade SIPs, we will conduct the CAR once every 3 years for accounts trading in Listed SIPs, and CKA once every year for accounts trading in Unlisted SIPs. If you are trading in both Listed and Unlisted SIPs, we will conduct your review annually.

Based on your declaration, you will be able to continue trading SIPs if you fulfill any one of the following criteria:

    1. Educational Qualifications

      Diploma or higher qualifications in one of the following fields:

      • Accountancy
      • Actuarial Science
      • Business Administration/Business Management/Business Studies
      • Capital Markets
      • Commerce/ Economics /Finance
      • Financial Engineering
      • Financial Planning / Computational Finance and Insurance
      • Professional Finance-related qualifications( including Chartered Financial Analyst Examination conducted by CFA Institute, USA and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) Qualifications.)
    2. Work Experience -

Have a minimum of 3 consecutive years of working experience (such working experience would also include the provision of legal advice or possession of legal expertise on the relevant areas listed below) in the past 10 years, in the development of, structuring of, management of, sale of, trading of, research on or analysis of investment products, or the provision of training in investment products (as defined in Section 2 of the Financial Advisers Act (Cap. 110)). Work experience in Accountancy, Actuarial Science, Treasury or Financial Risk Management activities will also be considered relevant experience.

Note: Support functions in the areas mentioned above that are administrative or clerical in nature will not be considered as relevant experience.

  1. Investment or Trading Experience
    1. For Listed SIPs : transacted in Listed SIPs for at least two (2) times during the preceding 3 years with DBSV, or at least six (6) times in the preceding 3 years with DBSV and/or other brokers.
    2. For Unlisted SIPs : transacted in the specific product of the Unlisted SIPs at least six (6) times in the preceding 3 years with DBSV and/or other brokers.
  2. Investor Status : You are an Expert Investor as defined under the Securities and Futures Act (SFA) or any other applicable law or regulation.

Note: If you have been assessed to fulfill the Educational Qualifications (as stated above) based on your initial declaration, you would be exempted from subsequent assessments until you have declared otherwise.

If I have multiple Individual Trading Accounts with DBSV, do I have to undergo a separate assessment for each Individual Trading Account?

You would only need to undergo one assessment. If you pass the CAR and/or CKA, the outcome of the assessment will apply to all your Individual Trading Accounts linked to your NRIC or Passport Number.

I have an Individual Trading Account, am a Joint Account Holder of another Joint Trading Account, and am also a Mandate for another Individual Trading account. How many times must I undergo the assessment?

You have to undergo 3 assessments - one for each account.

If I qualify for the CAR/CKA assessment with another broking firm, do I have to undergo another assessment with DBSV?

Yes, each financial institution has an obligation to conduct its own CAR/CKA for their customers. The successful outcome of the assessments conducted with other broking firms is not transferable to DBSV.