Hong Kong insurance regulator bans former agent for two years
The agent was banned for using a false academic certificate under the self-regulatory regime.
The Hong Kong Insurance Authority has banned another former insurance agent for two years for using a false academic certificate to establish that she met the minimum education requirements to be an insurance agent under the previous self-regulatory regime.
According to the IA the former agent used a false academic certificate in October 2018 when she originally applied to be registered as an insurance agent with the Insurance Agents Registration Board (IARB) under the self-regulatory regime in place prior to the IA taking on the regulation of licensed insurance intermediaries on 23 September 2019.
During the IA’s investigation, the former agent admitted that the academic certificate was not genuine, that she had not studied at the school stated in the certificate, that she had not obtained any other qualifications that could satisfy the minimum education requirements to be a registered insurance agent, and that she had purchased the academic certificate via WeChat for RMB2,000 yuan.
“As indicated, this case had to be handled in accordance with the transitional arrangements in Schedule 11 of the Insurance Ordinance (Cap. 41) (the Ordinance), which required the relevant requirements in place at the time to be applied and the disciplinary approach of the IARB1 to be followed. Hence a two-year prohibition was imposed,” the IA said.
The insurance watchdog also viewed that the former agent, in using a false academic certificate purchased via social media to feign that she had met the minimum academic requirements to be an insurance agent, undertook an act so contemptible as to demonstrate her complete lack of fitness and properness to perform the role for which she was applying.
“The public are entitled to trust the insurance intermediaries they deal with for their insurance needs. Trust demands ethical conduct and integrity of character. An individual who displays such a lack of ethics and integrity by using a false academic certificate in a submission to a regulator violates that trust. If an agent cannot be trusted to submit authentic documents to a regulator, she cannot be trusted to serve the public,” the IA said.
“The IA has zero tolerance for this and individuals who have sought to utilise false academic certificates under the previous self-regulatory regime will not be considered fit and proper persons until they are able to establish that they have undergone such a complete reformation of character as to prove that their integrity has been restored,” the insurance regulator added.
In August, the IA also banned an insurance agent for using fake academic credentials.