Beijing seeks greater “self-discipline” in China’s insurance industry

Insurers should be “shock absorbers” and “stabilizers,” says senior official

Beijing seeks greater “self-discipline” in China’s insurance industry

Insurance News

By Paolo Taruc

A senior official of the China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC) has said that the industry should show greater “self-discipline” to help safeguard the economy from financial risks.

Insurance firms should seek to be “shock absorbers” and “stabilizers” in the economy, said CIRC Vice Chairman Liang Tao at the National Insurance Industry Association Symposium.

According to the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE), the country’s financial regulators will work together to strengthen risk prevention on risky overseas investments on property, hotels, film and television.

The CIRC has been without a chief since April, when former chairman Xiang Junbo was investigated and dismissed due to “serious disciplinary violations,” a phrase often used by the Chinese government and media to refer to graft and corruption.

Two sources have told Reuters that the government will likely appoint Yang Xiaochao, secretary-general of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI), as the next CIRC head. Yang is an associate of Wang Qishan, current chief of the CCDI and a member of the Politburo Standing Committee, China’s top political leadership body.

Aside from Xiang, several other financial sector officials were investigated and removed, including: Yang Jiacai, former assistant chairman of the China Banking Regulatory Commission; Wang Yincheng, former president of state-owned People's Insurance Co (Group) of China; and Wu Xiaohui, chairman of controversial insurer Anbang Insurance Group.

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