Last Sunday during a press conference held during the National People’s Congress, China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC) Chairman Wu Dingfu announced that the CIRC is currently creating its policy for the use of insurance premium funds to invest government subsidized affordable housing projects. He specifically stated that China does not have a legal barrier to insurance companies investing insurance funds in affordable housing projects, and he also said that the CIRC plans making Shanghai the first city where this is possible. However, he cautioned that the main priority in insurance fund investment must still be risk management because any investments must provide a return so that an insurance company’s duty to pay its policyholders claims can be met.
During a press conference held last week during the National People’s Congress, China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC) Chairman Wu Dingfu annouced that the the CIRC will set up an insurance exchange in Shanghai as part of the Chinese government’s goal of making Shanghai an international finance center. This official announcement shows that the CIRC is serious about setting up an exchange. Yet, at present this announcement probably should just be considered a statement of their intentions because the CIRC did not offer any details on what the purpose of that exchange will be or who will participate in that exchange.
On February 18th, 2011 the China Insurance Regulatory Commission ("CIRC") Chairman Wu Dingfu made an announcement that the CIRC will be focusing more attention on regulating bank assurance based insurance policy sales. He noted that insurance purchasers are being given misleading advice about the best insurance policies for for their needs when they are consulting with insurance agents at Chinese banking institutions. The Chairman stated that protecting insurer purchasers interests is one of the CIRC important interests, and is one of the cornerstones to the sustained growth of the Chinese insurance industry.
Recently, the Shanxi Provincial China Insurance Regulatory Commission ("CIRC") provided a report on the results of its insurance industry transparency project. The overall goal of the project was to promote the stable, secure, and sustained development of the insurance industry in Shanxi province by meshing together government regulation, internal insurance ocmpany protocols, insurance industry self-regulation, and public participation in the insurance industry.
The State Council has ordered the Foreign Enterprise Representative Institution Registration and Administration Regulations (Order of State Council No. 584) (《外国企业常驻代表机构登记管理条例》) to come into force on March 1st, 2011. This new regulation alters the rules for a foreign insurance institution to register a representative office in China, and it regulates the activities that a foreign insurance institution representative office can engage in once it is properly registered.
By: King & Wood’s Insurance Group
This August, the Chinese Insurance Regulatory Committee disclosed its provisional measures on equity investments made by Insurance Funds (“Equity Investment Measures”). With the introduction of the new PRC Insurance law in October 2009, domestic insurance companies have begun making equity investments into private companies. The new Equity Investment Measures lay out a detailed framework outlining the ways in which insurance companies may participate in direct and indirect equity investment activities, including investments in private joint-stock companies and LLCs.
Recently, the Associated Press reported that the New York State Attorney General has served subpoenas on two major multi-national life insurers as part of that office’s inquiry into those companies policies for paying death benefits to life insurance policyholders’ beneficiaries. This news comes after Bloomberg News reported that the United States’ Department of Veterans’ Affairs has begun an investigation into the possibility that life insurance companies are improperly benefiting by holding onto death benefit proceeds after these should have been paid to death benefit beneficiaries.