Businesses can go to covid.gobusiness.gov.sg for more information regarding the temporary suspension of activities.
X
A Singapore Government Agency Website
AA
A
A

Written reply to PQ on prepayment loss

Written reply to PQ on prepayment loss

Question

Assoc Prof Walter Theseira: To ask the Minister for Trade and Industry (a) for each of the last three years, what is the total value of consumer prepayments for services or products that have been lost due to business failure or inability to discharge contractual obligations, broken down by (i) the motor car industry (ii) the beauty industry (iii) contractors and (iv) any other industries with significant consumer prepayment losses; and (b) whether mandatory escrow can be implemented for higher-risk consumer prepayments to protect consumers against such losses.

Written reply (to be attributed to Minister for Trade & Industry Mr Chan Chun Sing)

1. Based on reports filed by consumers with the Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE) from 2017 to 2019, the value of reported prepayment loss can be attributed mainly to motor cars, renovation services, and beauty services. The breakdown of the reported loss in these 3 areas can be found in Table 1.

 

Table 1: Value of Consumer Prepayment Loss Reported to CASE

Industry

2017

2018

2019[1]

Total (2017-2019)

1. Motor cars

$1,792,979

$1,093,472

$999,850

$3,886,301

2. Contractors

$744,483

$269,068

$724,166

$1,737,717

3. Beauty

$122,455

$226,644

$200,480

$549,579

Source: CASE


2. Escrow arrangements have been implemented for some services like conveyancing services and major payment services. However, such arrangements may not be suitable for all businesses. Some use prepayments to facilitate the cashflow of their business operations to allow them to offer more competitive pricing to their customers.

3. To help consumers identify businesses with good trading practices and shop with peace of mind, CASE has worked with industry associations to develop CaseTrust accreditation schemes for specific industries. In particular, the CaseTrust schemes for motor cars, renovation services, and beauty services require accredited businesses to safeguard consumers’ prepayment through the purchase of insurance or insurance bonds.

4. The Government will continue to monitor developments and consider additional sector-specific prepayment protection requirements as necessary, taking into consideration the cost impact on businesses and consumers. 



[1] As at 29 December 2019.


add HOME ABOUT US IMPROVING TRADE TRANSFORMING INDUSTRIES NEWSROOM RESOURCES LEGISLATION CAREERS
Contact Us Feedback FAQs