Date: May 25, 2011
ACCA AND SIAS MEMORANDUM OF COOPERATION SIGNING CEREMONY ON WEDNESDAY 25TH MAY 2011
ADDRESS BY MR DAVID GERALD, PRESIDENT & CEO OF SIAS
Ms Helen Brand – CEO, ACCA
Mr Darryl Wee – Country Head, ACCA Singapore
Ladies and Gentlemen
Good morning and thank you all for taking time off your busy schedule to celebrate this collaboration with ACCA and SIAS. SIAS is indeed honoured to be partnering with ACCA in reaching out to further our cause of educating and protecting investors throughout their investment journey.
Since our inception, following the CLOB saga, SIAS has taken up the challenge to educate more investors to help them make better investment decisions. Since 2000, SIAS has educated over 70,000 retail investors in over 500 programmes.
Over the past decade, the financial landscape in the world, including Singapore, has changed significantly on several fronts. Individuals must take greater responsibility for their financial well-being for retirement, and they must also forecast future financial needs, navigate increasingly complex financial markets and manage risk, both during and after their working years. Singaporeans can no longer rely solely on their CPF for their retirement needs. At the same time, financial products, including mortgages and products used for saving and investing, have become more numerous and more complicated, requiring individuals to make choices on an array of options.
Against this backdrop, the consequences of not having the skills necessary to make sound financial decisions become more severe. This is particularly true in times of economic instability and crisis, when resources may be limited and negative financial events, such as the loss of a job or a sharp decline in income, are more frequent. Not only has managing day-to-day finances become more difficult for many individuals, but there are also greater risks in getting it wrong.
A recent survey in the US showed that almost half of Americans surveyed reported having trouble keeping up with monthly expenses and bills. Under 14 percent of survey respondents stated it is very difficult to do so and 35 percent found it somewhat difficult.
I am, therefore, pleased to announce that SIAS, together with ACCA, will now also be able to extend our reach to better serve the investors, in particular the young investors. SIAS and ACCA will bring to Polytechnic students a financial literacy programme which will inculcate in them good financial habits. Beginning in July this year; I believe that the first session is almost 70 percent full already.
Besides our collaboration in financial literacy with the tertiary students, SIAS and ACCA have also been collaborating in the areas of improving corporate governance. The joint research in understanding The Value of Audit: Views from Investors, will go a long way in improving corporate governance practices in Singapore.
We are excited about working with ACCA and I look forward to working closely with ACCA in extending our reach and to educate more Singaporeans to better manage their funds and investments.