Tan Kin Lian Likens Ripoff Insurance Products to Narcotics and Says They Should Be Banned

Tan Kin Lian Profile PicOne of Singapore’s leading consumer advocates, Tan Kin Lian, has just written an excellent article arguing that regulators should ban ripoff insurance products, namely the worst types of investment-linked, whole life, and endowment policies.  The link is here:


Mr. Tan thinks that sales of these dangerous, exploitative insurance products should be illegal, just as sales of dangerous drugs is illegal.

Mr. Tan also argues that conning consumers into paying large hidden commissions is an act of fraud. If the commissions were clearly disclosed, no one would be willing to pay them.

I agree with Mr. Tan and have been urging the Hong Kong police and Independent Commission Against Corruption to take action.

Tan Kin Lian’s Interview on Hong Kong Public Radio

On January 2nd, RTHK Money for Nothing invited Mr. Tan to speak on its program. The link is here:


[Click on the section that says “8:24 am – How to navigate insurance products”.]

Mr. Tan tells RTHK that most consumers should buy low-cost term life insurance and should avoid investment-linked, whole life, and endowment policies. He notes that insurance companies and insurance salespeople have a vested interest in not recommending term life insurance because they can sucker consumers out of far more money when they sell the other types of ripoff products.

Mr. Tan recommends that consumers wishing to invest should buy low cost index funds.

Unfortunately, Mr. Tan’s radio interview was cut short, due to a very limited amount of time remaining on the program. I hope RTHK will invite Mr. Tan to speak on its program once again. Mr. Tan’s message needs to be heard by more Hong Kongers.

Global Insurance Regulators Should Take Mr. Tan’s Advice

I will be forwarding this blog post to regulators in Hong Kong, Singapore, and across Asia. I encourage them to seriously consider Mr. Tan’s proposal to ban scam insurance products.

3 thoughts on “Tan Kin Lian Likens Ripoff Insurance Products to Narcotics and Says They Should Be Banned

  1. Manita Khuller

    One issue is that there is no strict definition of these products and that allows financial intermediaries to get away with duping investors. The infamous LMPF product was latterly ( after the collapse) labelled as a “unregulated collective investment scheme- UCIS for short, in Europe. It’s the same as an ILAS when in a pension scheme and a hedge fund (high risk) to all purposes.
    Of course, no financial adviser purposely made this clear before taking our money.
    These products are banned in Hk already. Since 2001 I believe. Have a look on the HK Securities website. But this does not stop the rogue financial advisers selling it under a different name…unless someone complains! Why do more people not complain, forget lawyers initially- just complain to the SFC! They have to take note. Hk and Singapore are better regulated markets vs some others in Asia pacific.

    1. Manita

      I should clarify my earlier post, a Royal Skandia Executive/Redemption Bond ( now Old Mutual) which is used within a pension plan or outside it, is the equivalent of an ILAS product. Unfortunately, they are not currently banned in HK/Sg or other regulated jurisdictions but SHOULD BE!
      I now know from personal experience they are sold by Financial Advisers on a pathetic excuse that they enable access to a wider range of investment products that you would otherwise not have access to. This is a complete lie. You do not need a Bond or ILAS product at all to invest your money in most funds.

      Also the high ongoing costs of such Bonds kills the investors hope of any return for the investor.

      Why do FA’s do it ? Upfront and ongoing commissions of course paid by the ILAS or Bond provider to the FA, of course.
      Hence, the ILAS product is a Skandia Bond by another name.
      And LM Performance Fund was a Hedge fund or Unregulated Collective Investment( UCI) or “pooled Investment” by another name.

  2. Kin Lian

    The regulator should ask the insurance company to submit their products for approval. The toxic products should be banned. It is not difficult to identify these products. There is no need to try and catch them by writing definitions of these toxic products.
    Drugs need to be submitted for approval. It is relatively easy to deal with the small number of life insurance products.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.