Frequently Asked Questions

SIPs – CAR / CKA

What is Customer Knowledge Assessment (CKA) and Customer Account Review (CAR)?

With effect from 1st January 2012, financial institutions such as broking firm, bank and financial advisors are required to assess if a client has relevant knowledge and experience before trading Specified Investment Products (SIPs). Retail customers who do not satisfy the assessment are not allowed to trade SIPs.

These new MAS requirements apply to all retail clients, including

  • Non-residents with Singapore addresses
  • Both parties of Joint Account holders

You will have to complete:

  • the "Customer Account Review" if you wish to continue to trade SIP that is listed on an exchange; and
  • the "Customer Knowledge Assessment" if you wish to purchase an Unlisted SIP

From 10 December 2018, overseas investors will be required to undergo the required Customer Account Review (“CAR”) and/or Customer Knowledge Assessment (“CKA”) before trading Specified Investment Products (“SIPs”).

What are Specified Investment Products (SIPs)?

Specified Investment Products are products that have structures, features and risks that may be more complex in nature. The current list of Specified Investment Products includes:

  • Certain Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs)/ Exchange Traded Notes (ETNs)
  • Futures
  • Structured Warrants
  • Callable Bull/ Bear Contracts (CBBCs) (Not available on SGX yet)
  • Certificates


Specified Investment Products listed on SGX derivatives market include:

  • Futures
  • Options


Unlisted products include:

  • Contracts for Differences (CFDs)
  • Foreign Exchange Margin Trading
  • Structured Deposits and Dual Currency Investments
  • Structured Products
  • Unit Trusts and Investment-linked Insurance Policies


Who will be exempted from CAR/CKA?

The following segments are exempted from the new MAS requirements and do not have to undergo the Customer Account Review (CAR) & Customer Knowledge Assessment (CKA).

1. Accredited Investors as defined in Securities and Futures Act (Cap.289) section 4A
2. Expert Investors as defined in Securities and Futures Act (Cap.289) section 4A
3. Institutional Investors as defined in Securities and Futures Act (Cap.289) section 4A
4. Corporations, unincorporated entities, partnerships, or trust**

**If you fall into one or more of these categories, please furnish the relevant supporting documents and contact your representative.

Do I have to go through CAR or CKA modules and SGX Online Education on SIPs if I want to trade in only selected products? Is it compulsory?

SGX Online Education is designed for you to gain a better understanding of the products. While it is not compulsory for retail investors to complete the SGX Online Education on “Specified Investment Products”, we may assess whether you have the relevant knowledge or experience to trade SIPs.

Do I need to open a separate account to trade SIPs?

No. You can use your existing stock trading account to trade SIPs.

How do I know if a counter is a SIP?

All Specified Investment Products will be marked with the “@” symbol at the end of the name of the security:
Counter Name Naming (Before Tagging) Naming (After Tagging)
SPDR Gold Shares GLD 10US$ GLD 10US$@

With counters being labelled as “@”, does it affect my trading?

You can continue to trade all Specified Investment Products as per normal.

Where can I find more information about SIPs?

a. Visit the useful links below:

b. Call your trading representatives or Customer Experience Hotline @ 6531 1555.

How do I submit the CAR and CKA Assessment?

You may complete the CAR and CKA Assessment through one of the following ways:

1) Log in to your online trading account via POEMS 2.0 platform. Complete and submit the CAR and CKA Form by going to “Acct Mgmt” > “Stocks” > “CAR & CKA Form” > "Submit".

2) Approach any Phillip Investor Centre or contact your Trading Representative to complete the physical CAR & CKA Form or email the scanned copy to your Trading Representative.


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

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

How can I be considered to have the relevant knowledge and experience to trade Specified Investment Products?

You may be considered to have the relevant knowledge and experience if you meet any of the following assessment criteria:

1) Done 6 or more trades in the past 3 years (trade experience in each product will be qualified for trading in respective products only):

  • Contracts For Difference
  • Foreign Exchange Margin Trading
  • Structured Deposits and Dual Currency Investments
  • Structured Products
  • Unit Trust and Investment-linked Insurance Policies

2) Have a diploma or higher qualification in relevant courses such as accountancy, actuarial science, business, capital markets, commerce, economics, finance, financial engineering, financial planning, computational finance and insurance;

3) Have a professional finance-related qualification (for example, CFA, ACCA etc.)

4) Have a minimum of 3 consecutive years of working experience in the past 10 years in the development of, structuring of, and management of, sale of, trading of, or research and analysis of investment products or in the provision of training in investment products. (Work experience in accountancy, actuarial science, treasury or financial risk management may also be considered as relevant experience).

What happens if I do not meet any of the assessment criteria?

If you do not meet any of the CAR & CKA assessment criteria, you may sit for the online E-learning module:

I) For Listed SIPs:

If you fail the online CAR Assessment, please complete the SGX Online Education on listed SIP and inform your Trading Representative upon your completion of the course;

Remember to list Phillip Securities as your main brokerage partner when you fill in the Customer Account Review (CAR) online declaration on SGX website. This will allow Phillip Securities to access your CAR result from SGX.

If you have passed CAR by completing the SGX learning module prior to 15 Jan 2015, you are encouraged to re-take the SGX learning module if you have not transacted in listed SIPs more than once during that 3-year period, and do not satisfy any other criteria for the assessment of CAR.
Upon the expiry of CAR, you are also encouraged to go through the SGX learning module again if you have not met any of the CAR assessment criteria.


II) For Unlisted SIPs:

If you fail the CKA Assessment, please complete the online education on unlisted SIP and inform your Trading Representative upon your completion of the course.

Do note that you may sell your holdings or close your existing position even if you have not passed CKA (CFDs) and CKA (UT).

How should I proceed after completing the E-learning for CKA (CFD)?

If you do not meet any of the CKA (CFD) assessment criteria, you may sit for the online E-learning module (CFD) jointly developed by The Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS) and Securities Association of Singapore (SAS). The E-Learning portal defines the key features and risks of trading CFDs and allows retail investors to have a better understanding of the product before investing.

Upon taking and passing the assessments on the E-learning portal,

1) Download the certificate.

2) Attach the completed CKA Form.

3) Email to your trading representative or cfd@phillip.com.sg.

Is there any cost attached to the CAR or CKA module and SGX Online Education on SIP?

There is no cost to you to complete both the assessment and SGX Online Education.

Can I go through SGX Online Education on SIPs even if I do not wish to invest or if my broker has assessed that I can already trade in SIPs?

Yes, you can. The SGX Online Education on “Specified Investment Products” offers you a basic understanding of the features and risks on the products.

Important Note: Remember to list Phillip Securities as your main brokerage partner when you complete the online declaration for Customer Account Review (CAR) found in SGX website. This will allow Phillip Securities to access your CAR result from SGX.

What do I need to do if I fail the SGX Online Education but still wish to trade or continue trading in listed SIPs?

If you fail the SGX Online Education but still wish to trade or continue trading in listed SIPs, you have to make an appointment with your trading representative so that they can assess whether you are allowed to trade or continue trading in listed SIPs.

What are Excluded Investment Products (EIPs)?

Excluded Investment Products (EIPs) are investment products which have terms and features that are generally understood by retail investors, and the classification of an EIP is determined by its complexity, and not its risk level.

For more information on EIPs, please click here.

If I did not pass the CAR, can I trade foreign shares that are classified as EIP?

Yes you can. Please take note that effective from 28 Feb 2013, all retail investors who wish to trade foreign shares, regardless of EIPs or SIPs, will have to acknowledge an additional Risk Warning Statement (RWS).

What about joint account holders? Do both account holders have to complete the CAR/ CKA assessment?

Yes, both account holders have to complete the CAR or CKA assessment before trading Specified Investment Products.

I already have an existing Phillip Securities account. Do I have to go through the CAR/ CKA assessment again if I open another account with Phillip Securities?

While you will only have to go through one CKA and CAR assessment for all the accounts opened with Phillip Securities, we may assess on a case-by-case basis whether you are required to do the assessment again.

If I have already gone through the CAR/ CKA with another broking firm, do I have to go through the assessment with Phillip Securities to trade SIPs?

Yes. You will have to complete the CAR or CKA assessment as long as you trade SIPs with Phillip Securities.

Can retail customers who have previously been assessed to have relevant knowledge or experience in derivatives and/or unlisted SIPs (i.e. they passed the CAR and/or CKA) request for financial advice?

Retail customers who are assessed to have relevant knowledge or experience in derivatives and /or unlisted SIPs (i.e. passed the CAR and/or CKA) can request for financial advice through a separate arrangement with an authorised financial adviser.

Can I satisfy the assessment if I have previous trading experience (>6 trades) with other broking houses?

Yes, you have to self-declare your trading experience (>6 trades done) with other brokering houses by submitting an online form through POEMS 2.0 if you are our existing client. For new clients, you may do a self-declaration upon account opening.

Is my Trading Representative qualified to trade SIPs? How does it affect me?

With effect from 1st July 2013, trading representative must pass the required module before dealing any SIPs for his or her clients. Examples of SIPs include certain securities, covered warrants, exchange traded funds.

Trading Representative will only be qualified to deal in Excluded Investment Products (EIPs) if he/ she did not pass the required module for SIPs and is not allowed to help the clients in any way on dealing matters with respect to SIPS.