Hong Kong’s insurance regulator names former industry commissioner as new chief executive

Clement Cheung Wan-ching to head the Insurance Authority, as reported by the Post last month

PUBLISHED : Friday, 27 July, 2018, 10:35pm
UPDATED : Friday, 27 July, 2018, 10:35pm

Hong Kong’s Insurance Authority, the industry regulator set up last year, has appointed one of its original architects, Clement Cheung Wan-ching, as its new chief executive, it said in a statement.

Cheung, 56, will officially start on August 15 and will serve for two years, the statement said. The South China Morning Post had reported last month that Cheung was expected to take over the role from the outgoing chief executive, John Leung Chi-yan, a Hong Kong government civil servant.

The regulator was set up in June last year to replace the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance, a government department, in a bid to add flexibility and power and create a regulator on a par with the Securities and Futures Commission, which oversees the city’s financial markets.

Cheung, who served as insurance commissioner between 2006 to 2009, was involved in the preparations for setting up the authority.

Hong Kong insurance regulator set to name former industry commissioner Clement Cheung as CEO

Among Cheung’s tasks will be establishing a new licence regime for insurance sales agents. The regulator has said it wants to standardise licences to replace a system where agents did not have to apply for a licence but needed to register with three different self-regulating bodies. There are roughly 100,000 agents in Hong Kong selling insurance products to retail investors.

The watchdog would also have to manage the rise of online insurance in the city – the authority has said that over 40 companies have expressed interest in applying for online insurance licences.

Cheung is a career civil servant who joined the government in 1983. As well as being the insurance commissioner, he has been Hong Kong’s Postmaster General and Commissioner of Customs and Excise. He was Secretary for the Civil Service between 2015 and 2017.