Tue, Oct 15, 2013 - Page 13 News List

FSC to discuss regulations on life insurers with China

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff reporter

The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) and China’s Insurance Regulatory Commission are scheduled to meet on Thursday to discuss easing regulations for life insurance companies to expand business across the Taiwan Strait.

The meeting will take place at the venue for the 20th annual meeting of the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS), which runs from tomorrow until Friday in Taipei.

Insurance Regulatory Commission Chairman Xiang Junbo (向俊波) is set to arrive today to join the IAIS event.

The IAIS is a non-profit organization representing insurance regulators and supervisors in more than 200 jurisdictions in nearly 140 countries.

While the FSC declined to elaborate on the agenda of the meeting, the two sides are expected to touch upon proposals to relax investment requirements.

Currently, Taiwanese life insurers intent on tapping the Chinese market have to forge a joint venture with a Chinese partner in which each owns a 50 percent stake.

Foreign life insurers, that want to access the Chinese market, must have a capital of US$5 billion, have been operating for 30 years and have set up a representative office in China for two years before filing applications.

Hsu Shu-po (許舒博), chairman of the Life Insurance Association of the Republic of China, expressed the hope China would allow Taiwanese insurers to own a 51 percent stake so they can have majority control in the joint venture.

If Chinese authorities insist on the 50 percent cap, Hsu suggested they allow Taiwanese investors to find more than one partner to help avoid possible boardroom discord.

Other insurers pressed for easier access, such as lowering the capital requirement to US$3 billion and the experience hurdle to 20 years, Hsu said.

Taiwanese insurers also requested a shorter trial period by allowing them to upgrade their representative offices to branches one year after their establishment.

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