The Monetary Authority of Singapore says social media influencers who offer financial advice - “finfluencers” - must comply with the same disclosure requirements as regulated firms or risk being placed on its investor alert list.
The rise of retail cryptocurrency trading has been accompanied by the emergence on social media platforms of such as US-based Wendy O who give their advice to followers on subjects such as decentralised finance and non-fungible tokens.
In June the Thai Securities and Futures Commission banned the sale of Fan Tokens in the Kingdom, defined as assets tokenised by influencers’ fame and a number of other regulators in the region are similarly concerned about this issue.
Miscreants will be added to investor alert list
In response to an enquiry from Capital.com the MAS said that third parties - including social media influencers - may solicit customers in Singapore on behalf of providers of regulated payment services such as digital payment tokens (DPTs), this must be done within the existing rule book.
“However, such third parties must comply with the same disclosure requirements as regulated entities, including issuing warnings to consumers to alert them to the risks of trading DPTs, such as possibly losing all their money or tokens,” an MAS spokesperson told Capital.com.
The spokesperson went on to say that unlicenced entities that solicit customers in Singapore may be placed on the MAS investor alert list and investigated for breaches of the Payment Services Act.
Disclaimers use not universal by finfluencers
Research by internet analysis firm Plaxful earlier this year said that 14% of finfluencer content did not include such disclaimers and that more than half (52%) of finfluencer accounts analysed had posted at least one misleading video.
Today Capital.com has published an in-depth look at how regulators in Asia-Pacific are dealing with the rise of the finfluencers, “Asia-Pacific regulators scrutinise the role of ‘finfluencers’”.