FSC denies giving AXA a hard time

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Wed, Nov 21, 2012 - Page 13

The Financial Supervisory Commission yesterday said it did not give AXA SA a hard time after the French life insurer dropped its plan to re-enter the local market a day earlier.

The second-largest insurer in Europe said on Monday it would adjust expansion plans in Asia after seeking unsuccessfully to re-enter Taiwan.

“AXA has not submitted any documents after the commission on May 25 rejected its plans to re-enter the local market,” the commission said in a statement.

The clarification came after local media quoted the company as saying that the financial regulator had sat on its application to thwart its entry.

The commission said it was normal policy to require insurance firms to make a long-term commitment to the market and AXA failed to meet the test, after the French company exited Taiwan twice in the past.

Earlier this year, AXA said it remained upbeat about its re-entry plan and that it would invest NT$3 billion (US$102.9 million) to set up a branch. The company maintained a preparatory office with 45 employees in Taipei’s Xinyi District (信義).

The commission added that it had never asked AXA to take over the stake of British insurer Aviva PLC in the joint venture with First Financial Holding Co (第一金控).

Aviva has announced plans to pull out, but has yet to obtain FSC approval.