With effect from 26 June 2017, the independent Insurance Authority (IA) assumed its regulatory responsibilities and replaced the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) in regulating insurers. The IA will be a much more powerful regulator than its predecessor, with enhanced authorisation and supervisory powers, as well as inspection, investigation and disciplinary powers over insurers.
The IA was established on 7 December 2015 as part of the enhancement of Hong Kong’s insurance regulatory regime, by putting in place a regulator which is financially and operationally independent of the government and the industry in compliance with international standards. The regulation of insurers, which has just commenced, is the first phase in the IA’s assumption of regulatory responsibilities. It is anticipated that the second phase will occur in around two years’ time, when the IA takes over the regulation of insurance intermediaries (ie, agents and brokers) from the three self-regulatory organisations. The IA’s new website has been launched and can be accessed here – www.ia.org.hk.
Further details regarding the IA's governance structure, enhanced powers over insurers, the transition of codes and guidelines and the issues the IA will focus in the near future can be found in our recent bulletin.