Hong Kong’s Insurance Authority faces talent shortage amid fierce competition during travel restrictions, emigration


  • The Insurance Authority now only has about 300 team available to function and a headcount of about 330, chairman suggests
  • Hong Kong’s insurance policy sector is experiencing a expertise shortage amid improved emigration, and providers are poaching expertise from govt companies

Hong Kong’s Insurance plan Authority is the latest financial regulator to reveal it is struggling with a personnel scarcity, expressing it is understaffed by virtually 10 for every cent as a final result of getting rid of talent to private insurers, in accordance to chairman Stephen Yiu Kin-wah.

The authority presently has about 300 personnel associates, Yiu mentioned, leaving a lot more than 30 vacancies that it is trying to find to fill. The insurance plan regulator dropped 16 for every cent of its workers past 12 months, compared with 11 per cent in 2020.

Yiu explained quite a few non-public insurance policies corporations employ personnel from the authority to fill vacancies. The industry’s expertise shortage is a result of emigration out of the metropolis, in accordance to Yiu, and recruiting new hires has grow to be far more tricky simply because of travel limitations and quarantine principles.

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Insurance Authority Chief Executive Clement Cheung Wan-ching (left) and Chairman Stephen Yiu Kin-wah meet with media in the authority's office in Wong Chuk Hang on May 26, 2022. Photo: SCMP/ Enoch Yiu

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Insurance policy Authority Main Executive Clement Cheung Wan-ching (left) and Chairman Stephen Yiu Kin-wah meet with media in the authority’s office environment in Wong Chuk Cling on May 26, 2022. Image: SCMP/ Enoch Yiu

“It is like musical chairs in that the highly experienced insurance policies skills are the most sought right after by all companies. This also affects, the Insurance Authority’s employing strategy,” Yiu explained. The authority is in the method of talking about how to enhance workers advantages to keep on being aggressive in attracting talent, he extra.

The authority has missing most of its staff amid actuaries and in its enforcement division, in accordance to Chief Executive Clement Cheung Wan-ching.

“The Coverage Authority has stepped up its enforcement efforts,” Cheung claimed. “The insurance companies retain the services of the enforcement team of the authority so as to much better put together themselves in regulatory worries,” Cheung stated.

The Securities and Futures Fee (SFC), yet another fiscal regulator, also dropped 12 for each cent of its personnel very last yr, when compared with 5.1 for each cent in 2020, Chairman Tim Lui instructed lawmakers in February. The most really serious lack was in junior specialist staffing, which was down by 25 per cent, he claimed.

Numerous local banking companies in recent months also complained about staff shortages. The stringent quarantine and journey policies that are element of Hong Kong’s relentless pursuit of a “zero-Covid-19” coverage have deterred visitors and cut off a international offer of experienced labour.

Insurance policies huge AIA to obtain back again US$10 billion of shares as earnings surges

The metropolis after adopted a 21-working day quarantine rule for travellers, which was lessened in April to 7 days. Nevertheless, that is however additional restrictive than other major financial centres such as Singapore and the Uk, which have ended quarantines for site visitors.

Pretty much a 3rd of global insurance policy corporations in Hong Kong are taking into consideration downsizing their operations simply because of a shortage of talent exacerbated by the city’s rigorous Covid-19 procedures, in accordance to a survey by the Hong Kong Federation of Insurers (HKFI) in February.

Some 30 per cent of respondents claimed they were considering about relocating their world and regional teams, leaving just the -personnel centered on the Hong Kong market in the town.

Yiu reported he understands insurers’ fears, but he is assured that they will convey their personnel back at the time the metropolis more relaxes travel restrictions. He expects insurance policy profits to remain secure this year, immediately after powerful expansion previous 12 months.

Life insurance plan income in Hong Kong jumped 25 per cent to HK$166.8 billion (US$21.3 billion) previous yr, the greatest due to the fact 2016, right after insurance plan companies bolstered employees figures by recruiting flight attendants laid off during the pandemic.

“Insurance coverage profits past 12 months have returned to the pre-Covid era in 2019,” Yiu mentioned. “Numerous coverage organizations are launching new solutions to concentrate on domestic customers, which will help offset the loss of vacation insurance plan and income to mainland site visitors.”

Solid profits ongoing in the to start with quarter. HSBC Life, AIA, Manulife and Prudential are among the significant Hong Kong insurers observing strong sales progress as the wave of the Omicron Covid variant has elevated health and fitness recognition, boosting the shift to digital product sales channels.

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