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Regulator backs life insurers' outreach in healthcare

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Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) Governor Jeong Eun-bo, top row third from left, speaks during a meeting with CEOs of local insurance companies held at Millennium Hilton Seoul in central Seoul, Thursday. Yonhap
Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) Governor Jeong Eun-bo, top row third from left, speaks during a meeting with CEOs of local insurance companies held at Millennium Hilton Seoul in central Seoul, Thursday. Yonhap

Financial regulator urges insurers to strengthen internal control for consumer protection

By Anna J. Park

In a meeting, Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) Governor Jeong Eun-bo urged leaders of the country's life insurers to raise their level of consumer protection, while stressing the need to seize opportunities to further expand the market with fast-changing technological developments.

During their talks held at the Millennium Hilton Seoul, Thursday, Jeong called on the insurers to respond swiftly to global economic uncertainties and the increasing level of housing debt, as well as fiercer competition with big-tech companies encroaching on the insurance market.

"The FSS will conduct preliminary inspections on insurers which are vulnerable to system risks, while it induces stronger voluntary internal controls for insurance companies that have little system risk concerns," Jeong said. "Regarding big-tech companies' entrance into the insurance market, the FSS will build a timely and balanced regulatory stance, under the principle of placing identical regulations onto identical functions, in order to guarantee fair competition."

The FSS chief also vowed to flexibly allow insurance companies' subsidiaries to enter into the healthcare and asset management markets. He also pledged to change related regulations to allow insurers to employ state-of-the-art digital technologies, in order to keep pace with the digital transformation of the insurance sector.

Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) Governor Jeong Eun-bo speaks during a meeting with CEOs of local insurance companies held at Millennium Hilton Seoul in central Seoul, Thursday. Yonhap
Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) Governor Jeong Eun-bo speaks during a meeting with CEOs of local insurance companies held at Millennium Hilton Seoul in central Seoul, Thursday. Yonhap

Leaders of eight major insurance companies attended the event: Samsung Life Insurance CEO Jeon Young-muk, Hanwha Life Insurance CEO Yeo Seung-joo, Kyobo Life Insurance CEO Yoon Yeol-hyun, Shinhan Life CEO Sung Dae-kyu, NongHyup Life Insurance CEO Kim In-tae, Mirae Asset Life CEO Byun Jae-sang, Heungkuk Life Insurance CEO Park Chun-won, and Lina Korea CEO Cho Jee-eun. Korea Life Insurance Association (KLIA) chairman Chung Hee-soo also attended the meeting along with the insurance company chiefs.

The participants agreed with the FSS chief that growth was necessary for the further development of the sector, and vowed to closely communicate and cooperate with the financial regulator in the process.

In addition, the life insurers said they would voluntarily strengthen internal controls to raise subscriber protection levels as well as support sustainable growth of the industry.

The CEOs also plan to cooperate closely with the FSS in expanding the insurance market into the healthcare and digital sectors. They said they would use public medical data to come up with innovative products to improve the health of the country's senior citizens and the sick.



Park Ji-won annajpark@koreatimes.co.kr


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