Bermuda life insurer fined in Hong Kong

  • Fined: FWD Life is registered in Bermuda, but does much of its business in Hong Kong

Bermudian-registered FWD Life Insurance Company (Bermuda) Ltd has been fined by Hong Kong regulators over compliance failures relating to expertise of its staff.

Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission fined FWD Life HK$2.4 million ($316,000).

The insurer, which is owned by investment firm Pacific Century Group, serves customers in Asia, spanning Hong Kong, Macau, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam and Japan.

A statement from the SFC said FWD Life failed to ensure there were at least two key personnel who met the minimum five-year investment experience requirement in managing retirement funds or public funds at all times.

“From December 2012 to November 2016, FWD Life had only one key personnel in place who met the minimum investment experience requirement,” the statement adds.

“FWD Life only discovered it had insufficient key personnel when the Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Authority made enquiries in January 2017.”

The SFC also found that FWD Life failed to implement policies and procedures for the designation and monitoring of key personnel and to communicate to relevant staff members their designation as key personnel.

According to the regulator, FWD Life’s failure in this respect contributed to the four-year duration of its breach of the MPF Code, a fact that the SFC took into account when assessing the level of the fine.

According to the regulator, FWD Life was co-operative in resolving its concerns, and the insurer had no previous disciplinary record.

FWD Life, formerly known as ING Life Insurance Company (Bermuda) Ltd was incorporated in Bermuda in April 1977 and is licensed by the Bermuda Monetary Authority as a Long Term Class E insurer.