Insurance Authority to commence direct regulation over insurance intermediaries on 23 September 2019
14 May 2019
The Government has appointed 23 September 2019 as the date on which the Insurance Authority (IA) will take over from the three Self-Regulatory Organizations (SROs)1 and be responsible for all aspects of the regulation of insurance intermediaries in Hong Kong, including granting licences, conducting inspections and investigations, and imposing disciplinary sanctions where applicable.
“This exercise is a monumental phase of development for the insurance industry in Hong Kong,” said Dr Moses Cheng, Chairman of the IA. “We are confident that the new regime will help enhance the professionalism of insurance intermediaries, promote fair and transparent regulation, and instil a robust but flexible approach in fulfilling our statutory function of protecting policy holders.”
In this connection, the IA has formulated two sets of rules2 which will take effect on 23 September 2019, subject to the progress of scrutiny by the Legislative Council. A suite of codes and guidelines for licensed insurance intermediaries will be published in the next few months. The IA is also working closely with the industry to commission the Insurance Intermediary System, which features an online portal to facilitate electronic licence applications, the reporting of Continuing Professional Development hours attained, and the updating of personal particulars.
Mr Clement Cheung, Chief Executive Officer of the IA, said, “We are immensely grateful to industry stakeholders for their advice, support and understanding throughout this challenging project. Looking ahead, we will continue to rely on this partnering spirit in shaping our enforcement strategies and protocols.”
To facilitate a smooth transition, all insurance intermediaries who are validly registered with the SROs immediately before 23 September 2019 will be deemed as licensees for a period of three years. The incumbent Chief Executives and Responsible Officers are also eligible for the transitional arrangements.
Furthermore, all complaints and non-compliance cases not yet resolved by the SROs as at 23 September 2019 will be followed up in accordance with the rules that would have applied had they not been handed over to the IA. In other words, the new regime does not have any retrospective effect.
For more information and updates about the new regulatory regime, please refer to the dedicated page of the IA website.
1The three SROs are the Insurance Agents Registration Board established under the Hong Kong Federation of Insurers, the Hong Kong Confederation of Insurance Brokers and the Professional Insurance Brokers Association.
2They are the Insurance (Maximum Number of Authorized Insurers) Rules and the Insurance (Financial and Other Requirements for Licensed Insurance Broker Companies) Rules.