Tue, Sep 30, 2014 - Page 13 News List

FSC to ease offshore insurance rules

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff reporter

The Financial Supervisory Commission plans (FSC) to ease regulations to allow domestic life insurers to sell policies to Chinese customers through their offshore units.

The statutory relaxation aims to enable Taiwanese insurers to tap the offshore insurance market now that banks and securities houses in the nation can reach out to clients across the Taiwan Strait via their offshore banking and securities units.

The commission suggests sparing OIUs from business tax, corporate income tax and stamp tax for up to 15 years to encourage the new operations, FSC said.

Chinese citizens make significant earning contributions to life insurers in Hong Kong, accounting for 18 percent of first-year premiums, FSC Chairman William Tseng (曾銘宗) told the legislature’s Finance Committee last week.

The figures suggest significant wealth management business opportunities for Taiwanese insurers, which may offer assorted insurance policies to Chinese tourists once they reach Taiwan’s ports of entry, Tseng said.

To encourage OIU business, the FSC is also seeking to free insurance funds of income taxes, if they are channeled to offshore stock, bond or real-estate-securitized investment tools, local media outlets said.

The exemption plans would make OIU operations highly competitive, given the current income tax rate of 15 percent.

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