As in other parts of the world, Asia Pacific policy makers have responded with a range of reforms, including moves to avoid conflicts of interest, increase disclosure and raise levels of professionalism in the industry. While these important supply-side reforms are beginning to have beneficial effects, we believe that the demand side of the industry – investors, their preferences and behaviour – has received insufficient policy attention in many jurisdictions. We believe policy makers and industry can improve the performance of their advice and investments sectors by encouraging investor education.
As regional economies expand and local financial sectors deepen, the financial advice and investment industries of Asia Pacific have been growing rapidly. As often happens in rapidly growing sectors, the Asian investment industry has been beset by some “cowboy” conduct – shoddy product design, mis-selling and fraud.