The executive vice-chairman and president of Top Glory Insurance, Andrew Yang Fang-shing, yesterday called on the government to assist insurance agents who move from one firm to another and lose out financially in the process. He criticised insurance companies which refused to provide leaving staff defectors with commission, salary or pension fund income and admitted that he had suffered after his high-profile departure from National Mutual Asia in 1994. On Tuesday, Mr Yang published an advertisement in the Chinese-language press attacking rival insurance companies for making life difficult for departing agents. His comments follow the departure of about 150 agents from American International Assurance (AIA) last week to join Top Glory - the biggest wave of defections since Mr Yang took 900 National Mutual agents, or one third of its sales force, to Top Glory three years ago. Yesterday he said the advertisement aimed to point out the unfair treatment received by the agents. 'For me, I did not get the last month's salary and the pension fund I should have got when I left National Mutual,' he said. 'There are about 20 agents who left National Mutual and joined Top Glory three years ago who are in a similar situation. 'I did not hire a lawyer to take legal action to get back the small amount of money. But for junior agents, they cannot afford to do so.' He said National Mutual claimed they were breaching their contracts and would not receive the last month's salary and pension fund. 'It is very unfair and there is no government department to deal with the agents' complaints,' he said. 'It is because the Labour Department only deals with employer-employee complaints and insurance agents are not regarded as employees.' He said he hoped the Government would designate a department to deal with unfair treatment of agents and has urged insurance companies to pay departing agents their entitlements. In separate comments, Victor Apps, president and chief executive of Manulife International, said his firm had not lost groups of agents. 'We will not recruit blocks of agents from other insurance companies and we have not lost a large number of agents to other insurance companies,' he said. He said he supported Mr Yang's statement that insurance agents should have the freedom to choose their companies, but it would create trouble if large numbers switched at the same time. He also said departing agents should not urge clients to switch policies as clients may not be fully aware of the losses they may face. Mr Yang said Top Glory was not asking clients to switch policies, but it was their choice if they wanted to follow their agents to Top Glory.