Officials eye insurance integration scheme in HK-Guangdong-Macau GBA

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Officials in China and Hong Kong are preparing to launch a cross-border scheme that will integrate the insurance industries of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area (GBA), according to a South China Morning Post report.

Under the first phase of the “Insurance Connect” scheme, China will set up two service centres in mainland cities to provide post-sales services (including premium payment and claims management services) for policyholders of Hong Kong insurers.  According to the SCMP report, the Hong Kong Federation of Insurers will “take the lead” in renting office space in the centres, with Hong Kong insurance companies eventually establishing counters for their customers.

Shenzhen is seen as one of the cities that officials are eying for a service centre, according to SCMP.

Read more: Hong Kong insurance sector to benefit from Greater Bay Area plan

The scheme is part of Beijing’s plan to improve capital flow and boost trade between the cities in the Greater Bay Area and create an economic super-region around the Pearl River Delta. A similar “Wealth Management Connect” scheme between investment firms and banks was unveiled last month.

Nicholas Kwan, director of research at the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, said that businesses are “seeing strong policy support from the central government for turning the Greater Bay Area into a global business and innovation centre.”

For its part, Hong Kong’s Insurance Authority said that it has been “liaising closely with relevant mainland authorities to pursue the idea of setting up post-sale service centres in the Greater Bay Area, whose practical importance is clearly demonstrated by the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak.”

“We will sustain this dialogue to achieve some concrete progress within this year,” a spokesperson for the regulator told SCMP.

Meanwhile, Derek Yung, chief executive of Prudential Hong Kong, said that the opening of the service centres in the Greater Bay Area “will be a very positive move.”

“If we can prove the service centres will work well, the central government will open up the GBA further for the insurance companies in Hong Kong,” Yung told SCMP.

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