30 January 2023
On 14 December 2022, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (“MAS”) issued revised versions of the following notices on residential property loans fact sheets (“Notices”):
- Notice 115A Residential Property Loans - Fact Sheet (for direct insurers)
- Notice 825A Residential Property Loans - Fact Sheet (for finance companies)
- Notice 1106A Residential Property Loans - Fact Sheet (for merchant banks)
These financial institutions (“FIs”) are required to provide and explain a fact sheet to borrowers stating key information such as the tenure of the residential property loan, loan amount and repayment schedule. The Notices outline the information to include in the fact sheet and how it should be delivered and explained to the borrower through different channels.
The changes to the Notices seek to:
- facilitate the process for the FIs to obtain digital acknowledgements from borrowers on the fact sheet (e.g. through electronic signatures) or from an authorised joint-borrower on behalf of other borrowers; and
- require disclosures in the fact sheet on possible interest rate changes as well as alternative arrangements that the FIs will provide to borrowers should the FIs make unexpected interest rate changes after borrowers have committed to a property loan.
MAS will provide for a six-month transition period, from the date of the revised Notices issuance, for the amendments to take effect. This takes into account time needed for the FIs to make system changes and accommodate the new fact sheet format. Notwithstanding, MAS urges the FIs to implement the changes as soon as practicable to enhance disclosures in fact sheets, as the enhanced disclosures will help borrowers make informed financial decisions in a high interest rate environment.
By way of background, MAS issued a consultation paper on 18 November 2021 and sought feedback on proposed amendments to the Notices. The consultation closed on 14 January 2022. On 14 December 2022, MAS issued its response to feedback received and noted that respondents were largely supportive of the proposals.