News Regulations08 Feb 2018

South Korea:Regulator to open up insurance sector

08 Feb 2018

South Korea's top financial regulator has unveiled a plan to ease licensing regulations in the financial industry, including in the insurance market.

Mr Choi Jong-ku, Chairman of the Financial Services Commission (FSC), speaking at a conference on 5 February, said that the measures are planned for insurers, banks, trusts and investment firms to facilitate job growth and innovation.

In the insurance sector, the FSC plans to allow more daily life-based, small-sized specialised insurance companies to offer services online, reported Pulse News. As part of efforts to attract more participation, the regulator plans to lower minimum capital requirements for online-only insurance companies.

The regulator is also considering introducing an overall system that allows small-sized insurers to offer specialised short-term cover such as pet and travel insurance as they would be less vulnerable to risks.

In addition, the FSC will ease regulations to allow more specialised insurers in the life, pension, casualty, liability, nursing, and reinsurance sectors where new market entries are currently barred.

In banking, regulations will be eased to allow the operations of Internet-only banks, mortgage banks and other special-purpose institutions.

In the securities brokerage sector, the FSC will push for more small-sized, specialised firms to be set up by lowering minimum capital requirements. The regulator will ease barriers to allow more specialised brokerages engaged in private equity and services in the secondary Kosdaq and smaller, venture-focused Konex markets by allowing them to simply register for operations instead of applying for approval.

The FSC will establish a committee which will assess the competitive balance of the financial sector and advise regulators.

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