The SFC has announced that it will not license insurers, corporate insurance brokers and individuals who are insurance agents or insurance brokers (insurance intermediaries) for promoting, offering or advising on investment-linked assurance schemes (ILAS) as ILAS are not regarded as securities. Insurers, corporate insurance brokers and insurance intermediaries who only promote ILAS, or who only advise investors concerning ILAS, are not considered to be engaging in dealing in securities or advising on securities, so no SFC licence is required.
Although insurance intermediaries may give advice or make recommendations to policyholders concerning their selection of the underlying funds of ILAS (which are securities) the SFC makes the point that the underlying funds are not directly acquired or disposed of by the policyholder. Whilst the insurer may invest part of the premium income that it receives from its policyholders in the underlying funds that have been chosen by the policyholder, such investments are bought for the insurer's own account, although the value of the underlying securities is notionally used to calculate the value of the investor's ILAS policy from time to time.
However, the issue, or the possession for the purposes of issue, of any advertisement, invitation or other document which contains an invitation to the public to acquire an interest in or participate in, or offer to acquire an interest in or participate in, an ILAS still requires SFC authorisation.