Hong Kong - New Regulatory Regime For Insurance Intermediaries: Approval Of Key Person In Intermediary Management Function.

Legal News & Analysis - Asia Pacific - India - Regulatory & Compliance - Insurance & Reinsurance

11 September, 2019

 

With the coming into effect of the provisions of the Insurance Ordinance (IO) relating to insurance intermediaries on 23 September 2019 (Commencement Date), the Insurance Authority (IA) has reminded insurers of the need to obtain the IA’s consent for the appointment of key persons in intermediary management function.

 

Intermediary management function

 

The intermediary management function is as follows:

 

(i) 

Administering the licensed insurance agencies and licensed individual insurance agents appointed by the insurer in relation to the regulated activities carried on by them;

(ii) 

monitoring the compliance with the IO by the licensed insurance agencies and licensed individual insurance agents appointed by the insurer; and

(iii) 

ensuring that the arrangements by the licensed insurance intermediaries for the insurance business referred to the insurer comply with the IO and IA guidelines.

 

Key person

 

A key person in an insurance intermediary management function is an individual responsible for performing the above function and setting up necessary internal control measures.

 

It is a matter for the board of directors (Board) of an insurer to decide whether or not to appoint a key person in intermediary management function. If the Board decides not to appoint such a person it should be able to explain the reasons for not making such an appointment and to show how its governance and internal control systems remain adequate. There are certain specific exemptions where an appointment is not required and these are as follows:

 

(i) 

Captive insurers;

(ii) 

when an authorised insurer does not enter into contracts of insurance through licensed insurance intermediaries or accept the referral of insurance business from licensed insurance intermediaries; and

(iii)

when the intermediary management function is such that a person responsible for its performance would not be able to exercise significant influence on the business carried on by an insurer.

 

Transitional arrangements

 

Transitional arrangements have been made to allow insurers time to fulfil the requisite formalities as follows:

 

(i)

If an authorised insurer has already designated an individual to be responsible for its intermediary management function and intends to appoint that individual to be its key person in intermediary management function with effect from the Commencement Date, the insurer should notify the IA of its intention and the name, position and department of the individual using a Reply Slip (with the checkbox Option 1 selected) and return it to the IA on or before 20 September 2019. The insurer should then submit to the IA the full application for the individual to be the key person in intermediary management function (submission of the Form A1 in Schedule 4 of the IO and information required for the application under section 13AE(3) of the IO and payment of the prescribed fee) on or before 20 December 2019.

(ii) 

If an authorised insurer intends to appoint its controller to be the key person in intermediary management function, it will still be necessary for the insurer to go through the formalities of obtaining the IA’s approval for the appointment. Accordingly, the insurer should indicate to the IA its intention to appoint its controller as the key person in intermediary management function using a Reply Slip (with the checkbox Option 2 selected) and return it to the IA on or before 20 September 2019. The insurer should then submit to the IA the full application for the controller to be the key person in intermediary management function (i.e. submission of the Form A1 in Schedule 4 of the IO and information required for the application under section 13AE(3) of the IO and payment of the prescribed fee) on or before 20 December 2019.

(iii) 

If an authorised insurer does not intend to appoint a key person in intermediary management function, the insurer should notify the IA of its intention using a Reply Slip (with appropriate checkbox under Option 3 selected) and return it to the IA on or before 20 September 2019.

 

The Reply Slip referred to above is attached to the IA Circular of 30 August 2019.

NEW_DeaconsHKLogo

For further information, please contact:

  

John Richardson, Partner, Deacons

john.richardson@deacons.com.hk