Magazine

Aug 2018

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Quotes from regulators over the years

Source: Asia Insurance Review | Aug 2018

Over the past 30 years, Asia Insurance Review has had the pleasure and privilege of interviewing every insurance regulator in Hong Kong. Here are some highlights that offer up unique insights into the complex and changing landscape of insurance regulation.
 
 
Those insurers established and operating in Hong Kong prior to 1997 will be able to continue to operate after the transfer of sovereignty and there is increasing evidence that such insurers will thereafter be specially placed to benefit from the broadening of financial service activities that will take place within China.
Mr Derek Sullivan
Hong Kong’s first insurance commissioner (1990-1992)
From Asia Insurance Review Mar-Apr 1992 issue
 
Hong Kong has two major resources, the first being its geographical position, and the second, its people. Its strategic location has made it an ideal hub for trade in the Asia Pacific rim and has provided an easy access to China, where it benefits from the economic boom in the coastal provinces. The insurance industry is alert to these opportunities and many insurers find Hong Kong a superb regional base.
Mr Nigel Shipman (1992-1993)
From Asia Insurance Review Mar-Apr 1993 issue
 
The vibrant economy of Hong Kong has provided the basis for the development of the insurance industry here, in size and sophistication, into a significant regional centre. The geographical advantages of Hong Kong, excellent infrastructural support, combined with the enterprising and hardworking workforce, have provided impetus for promising growth in the insurance industry.
Mr Stephen Ip (1993-1994)
From Asia Insurance Review May-Jun 1994 issue
 
It is a fact that Hong Kong has the highest number of insurance companies per capita in the world.” At the last count in December 1994, there were 229 insurers – 169 general, 41 life and 19 composites. “If the market can accept them, there is no reason to think about limiting the number of insurers. We don’t want to stop just because there are too many insurers as long as they meet our high standards.
Ms Pamela Tan (1994-1995)
From Asia Insurance Review May-Jun 1995 issue
 
With regard to the insurance industry, 
the practice of not providing any goodies or subsidies and encouraging self-regulation via the HKFI remains unchanged. The authorities may take the lead in some instances but that it will always respect market forces. There is no change in economic philosophy. Hong Kong has never been completely laissez-faire.
Mr Alan Wong (1996-2000)
From Asia Insurance Review June 1998 issue
 
We are not controlling the industry and have no intention to do so. We are just providing more protection. As a regulator, our primary objective is to protect policyholders and ensure solvency margins are sufficient. It is a preventive measure.
Mr Benjamin Tang (2000-2003)
From Asia Insurance Review Aug 2002 issue
 
We try our best to explain our rationale behind new policies to the industry and to take into account views of the industry, but ultimately a decision has to be made and it’s always with the general community interest in mind. But this must not be misinterpreted to mean we are not listening to industry feedback.
Mr Richard Yuen (2003-2006)
From Asia Insurance Review May 2004 issue
 
Complaints of mis-selling have cropped up in recent months, especially from Lehman bond investors, who have alleged of mis-selling when they bought the investment bank’s products. In insurance, complaints about mis-selling of investment-linked assurance scheme products have also surfaced. OCI, in response, is collaborating with the HKFI and other local regulators to boost public education on these products.
Mr Clement Cheung (2006-2009)
From Asia Insurance Review Mar 2009 issue
 
Insurance intermediaries are critical to the selling process as they are normally the first person who customers meet and from whom customers learn about the products they buy. With their professionalism, knowledge, integrity and quality services, the noble goal and value of insurance would be better conveyed to the public.
Ms Annie Choi (2009-2015)
From Asia Insurance Review Apr 2015 issue
 
We aim to position Hong Kong as an inward reinsurance and risk management centre for the mainland and the Belt and Road Initiative economies as well as a regional insurance hub to facilitate mainland insurance groups to go regional and global. To achieve this, we are actively seeking ways to enhance the business environment and enrich the risk management tools available in Hong Kong.
Mr John Leung (2015-2018)
From Asia Insurance Review Mar 2018 issue
 
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