Brokers to face registration
INSURANCE brokers and agents must register with their respective associations, according to a bill endorsed by the Executive Council.
The Insurance Companies (Amendment) (No 3) Bill 1993 came after self-regulation proved to be ineffective. Voluntary codes were unsuccessful because they did not provide effective sanctions against non-compliance.
Under the bill, every insurer must maintain a register for public inspection of its appointed agents. The number of insurers an agent can represent is also limited.
Agents will have to possess minimum qualifications and insurers will be responsible for their agents' actions, training and compliance with the code of practice adopted by Hong Kong Federation of Insurers in January.
Brokers will have to be authorised by the Confederation of Insurance Brokers, established in February, or the Insurance Authority. The main criteria includes professional indemnity insurance.
Brokers will also be required to keep clients' money in separate accounts. And the authority will have the power to require production of books and records.
The Financial Services Branch estimated that 12 additional posts, at a yearly cost of $6.2 million, would be required from 1995-96 to monitor and ensure compliance with the proposal.