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Appointments to Independent Insurance Authority announced

     The Chief Executive has appointed Dr Moses Cheng Mo-chi as the Chairman of the Independent Insurance Authority (IIA) and seven persons as Non-Executive Directors of the IIA for a term of three years from December 28, 2015, to December 27, 2018.

     The IIA, a statutory body established by the Insurance Companies (Amendment) Ordinance 2015 (Amendment Ordinance), is a new insurance regulator independent of the Government. At present, the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI), a government department, regulates insurance companies and three Self-Regulatory Organisations (SROs) supervise insurance intermediaries. The IIA will eventually replace the OCI and take over the regulation of insurance intermediaries from the three SROs through a statutory licensing regime. The target is for the IIA to replace the OCI by the end of 2016 and take over the supervision of insurance intermediaries from the SROs in two to three years from now.

     Announcing the inaugural appointments to the IIA today (December 28), the Financial Secretary, Mr John C Tsang, said, "The IIA will face a range of challenging tasks in establishing itself as a new insurance regulator. Under the chairmanship of Dr Cheng, who has extensive experience in public service, I am confident that the IIA will work closely with stakeholders in taking forward the modernisation of the insurance regulatory regime in Hong Kong and in discharging its statutory duties.

     "The seven Non-Executive Directors will bring to the IIA a wealth of experience and expertise in different sectors, including insurance, accountancy, law, consumer affairs, actuarial science and management. We are confident that they will be able to provide valuable advice to the IIA to ensure a smooth transition from the existing regulatory regime to the new one."

     Following is the membership list and profiles of the appointees of the IIA:


Dr Moses Cheng Mo-chi
- Dr Cheng is a senior partner of a law firm, with areas of practice covering capital markets, corporate governance and regulatory compliance. He has been actively contributing to the community and has served in important positions including Chairman of the Education Commission, government-appointed Director on the Board of the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited, and founding Vice-Chairman of the Estate Agents Authority.

Non-Executive Directors

Mr Samuel Chan Ka-yan
- Mr Chan is a barrister and an incumbent member of the Consumer Council. He chairs the Management Committee of the Consumer Legal Action Fund.

Professor Chan Wai-sum
- Professor Chan is an actuary and a Professor of Finance of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, with expertise covering life insurance products, retirement income arrangements and health care financing in Hong Kong.

Ms Chitty Cheung Fung-ting
- Ms Cheung served in a number of key management positions at an international airline. She is a former member of the Hong Kong Tourism Board and the Planning and Development Committee of the Travel Industry Council.

Mr Kenneth Kwok Tsun-wa
- Mr Kwok is a veteran insurance practitioner and has served in senior positions in international insurance brokerage firms and general insurance companies. He was a member of the General Committee of the Insurance Claims Complaints Bureau.

Mr Ma Ho-fai
- Mr Ma is a senior partner of a law firm, with extensive experience in conveyancing-related work in Hong Kong. He is an Independent Director of the Travel Industry Council and a former Chairman of the Estate Agents Authority's Disciplinary Committee.

Mr James Wong Chien-kuo
- Mr Wong is former Chief Executive Officer of major life insurance companies and a former Chairman of the Hong Kong Federation of Insurers.

Mr Stephen Yiu Kin-wah
- Mr Yiu was the Chairman of the Mainland China and Hong Kong operations of an international accounting firm. He has extensive experience in auditing listed and large corporations, particularly in the banking and finance sectors.

     The Amendment Ordinance, which was enacted on July 10, 2015, will commence in three stages to allow for a smooth transition from the existing regime to the new regime administrated by the IIA. During the present stage, the IIA has automatically been renamed as the Provisional Insurance Authority (PIA) pursuant to the new section 4AAA(2) added by section 9 of the Amendment Ordinance. The PIA is vested with certain administrative powers to undertake essential preparatory work. It will not have any regulatory powers. Insurance companies will continue to be regulated by the OCI whereas insurance intermediaries will continue to be self-regulated for the time being. Upon the commencement of the second stage, the PIA will be renamed as the IIA and take over the work of the OCI. The existing self-regulatory system for insurance intermediaries will continue, allowing time for the IIA to prepare the necessary tools for regulating insurance intermediaries in consultation with the industry and the general public. The third stage will commence after these regulatory tools are in place and the IIA will take over the supervision of insurance intermediaries from the three SROs.

Ends/Monday, December 28, 2015
Issued at HKT 16:02


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