What are the main priorities of Asia Pacific chief risk officers?

Report delves into conduct, cyber security, and other tech risks

What are the main priorities of Asia Pacific chief risk officers?


By Roxanne Libatique

A recent survey conducted by EY and the Institute of International Finance (IIF) has revealed insights into the risk landscape faced by chief risk officers (CROs) in the insurance industry across the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, highlighting distinct regional concerns compared to global trends.

The survey uncovered a notable emphasis on conduct and compliance risks, with a majority of APAC CROs (54%) identifying conduct risk as the primary threat to their organisations in the upcoming year. This figure significantly surpasses the global concern level, where only 19% of CROs shared the same view.

Critical areas of focus for APAC insurance companies

The research further identified cybersecurity risks and the need for business model transformations as critical areas of focus for APAC insurers, with both areas receiving attention from 46% of regional CROs. This contrasts with a global perspective where cybersecurity concerns are slightly more prevalent (53%) but the urgency for business model change is less pronounced (32%).

“CROs globally face challenges that are broadly consistent, yet the emphasis and prioritisation of specific risks differ across regions. With conduct-related regulations established in several markets in the region, including Australia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Singapore, it makes sense for CROs in Asia-Pacific to make it a big focus area,” said Tze Ping Chng, EY Asia-Pacific consulting insurance sector leader.

APAC insurers adopt advanced technologies

The survey also delved into the adoption of advanced technologies, revealing that 38% of insurers in the Asia-Pacific are integrating automation and advanced analytics, including AI and machine learning, into their operations. This level of adoption outpaces the global rate (22%) and signifies the region's proactive stance towards leveraging technology for risk management, fraud detection, and operational efficiency.

“As the global insurance market experiences extraordinary fluctuations and rapid advancements in digitalisation and technology, the transformation or overhaul of business models is also a pivotal item on the agenda for Asia Pacific CROs. Insurers are responding to these shifts by enhancing their predictive capabilities and resilience against operational disruptions, with heightened focus on tech integration and sophisticated analytics, including artificial intelligence, to swiftly pinpoint and address nascent risks,” Chng said.

Meanwhile, another recent survey pointed to health and safety as main concerns for directors and officers globally.

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