Hong Kong Insurance Authority suspends agent for signature forgery

Case raised concerns over violation of trust and good faith needed in transactions

Hong Kong Insurance Authority suspends agent for signature forgery

Insurance News

By Roxanne Libatique

The Insurance Authority (IA) of Hong Kong has taken disciplinary measures against a former insurance agent, Wong Chung Yiu, imposing a suspension of 12 months for his involvement in unethical practices.

Yiu was found complicit in facilitating the submission of applications with forged signatures and inaccurate declarations on behalf of clients.

Hong Kong insurance agent breaches ethical standards

The issue first surfaced in September 2020 when a client sought to transfer his medical insurance policy to a new policy under the Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme (VHIS). The application required signatures from both the policyholder and his daughter, the latter being overseas and unable to sign.

Yiu witnessed and did not object when the father signed on behalf of his daughter, violating the protocol. Furthermore, he falsely attested to having conducted due diligence, which was not the case.

A similar incident occurred in January 2021, involving the same parties. Despite the daughter's absence, her father attempted to apply for another VHIS policy, with Yiu again facilitating the process by endorsing the application with false declarations and forged signatures.

The discovery of these actions, particularly after the successful issuance of a policy which the daughter later questioned due to her absence from Hong Kong at the time of application, exposed serious breaches of ethical standards. This not only highlighted the manipulation of signatures and misrepresentations but also raised concerns over the violation of the trust and good faith essential in insurance transactions.

IA takes action against agent's involvement in unethical practices

In response to the findings, the IA conducted a thorough review, taking into account Yiu's admission of his actions, his financial gain from the commission of the new policy, the affected parties' perspectives, his relatively short tenure in the insurance industry, and his previously clean record. Additionally, the daughter's decision to retract her complaint was considered in the disciplinary process.

These considerations led to the decision to suspend Yiu for a year. The authority emphasised the importance of deterring such misconduct to preserve the integrity of the insurance market and protect consumers' interests.

Yiu's suspension follows the IA's decision to ban another ex-insurance agent for 15 months.

Related Stories

Keep up with the latest news and events

Join our mailing list, it’s free!