29 Oct 2019

Commencement of New Regulatory Regime for Insurance Intermediaries

ISSUING AUTHORITIES:
Government of the Hong Kong SAR
Insurance Authority, Hong Kong SAR

DATE OF ISSUANCE
May 17, 2019

EFFECTIVE DATE:
September 23, 2019

With effect from September 23, 2019, the Insurance Authority (IA) has taken over regulation of insurance agents and brokers from the three self-regulatory organisations (“SROs”), and has become the sole regulator to license and supervise all insurance intermediaries in Hong Kong.

Under the new regime, anyone carrying on a regulated activity as defined under the Insurance Ordinance must be licensed by the IA. There will be a three-year transitional period during which existing intermediaries who are validly registered with the SROs before September 23, 2019 will be deemed licensed under the new regime. Licensed insurance intermediaries are not only required to comply with the statutory conduct requirements, but also the relevant codes of conduct issued by the IA. Further guidelines promulgated by the IA on fit and proper criteria and continuing professional development also apply.

Several pieces of subsidiary legislation, such as the Insurance (Maximum Number of Authorized Insurers) Rules and the Insurance (Financial and Other Requirements for Licensed Insurance Broker Companies) Rules, have been introduced by the IA and have come into operation at the same time as the new regulatory regime for insurance intermediaries. The IA has indicated that it intends to consult on further rules, codes and guidelines.

Reference:
Insurance Companies (Amendment) Ordinance 2015 (Commencement) Notice 2019 (https://www.gld.gov.hk/egazette/pdf/20192320/es22019232077.pdf);
Insurance Ordinance, Cap. 41, Laws of Hong Kong (https://www.elegislation.gov.hk/hk/cap41);
Insurance (Maximum Number of Authorized Insurers) Rules, Cap. 41K, Laws of Hong Kong (https://www.elegislation.gov.hk/hk/cap41K);
Insurance (Financial and Other Requirements for Licensed Insurance Broker Companies) Rules, Cap. 41L, Laws of Hong Kong (https://www.elegislation.gov.hk/hk/cap41L)

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