BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s insurance regulator has urged the industry to show greater “self-discipline” and “serve the real economy”, in a nod to the central government’s focus on fighting financial risk.
In a speech published on the China Insurance Regulatory Commission’s (CIRC) website on Saturday, vice-chairman Liang Tao said the insurance industry should “return to its origins” and work to “reduce tremors” in the economy and society.
The comments follow a turbulent few months in the insurance sector and a call last week from President Xi Jinping for the banking, insurance and securities regulators to show more accountability.
In recent years, some insurers have taken sizable stakes in listed companies, often funded by issuing high-yield, short-term universal life insurance and other investment products.
The top CIRC job has been vacant since April, when former chairman Xiang Junbo was put under investigation for suspected “serious disciplinary violations,” a phrase that usually refers to graft.
Earlier in April, the CIRC cautioned insurance firms to strengthen supervision of operations and investment activities and to correct market disorder.
Wu Xiaohui, the chairman of financial giant Anbang Insurance Group, was detained in June.
Reporting by Philip Wen and Gao Liangping; Editing by Edmund Blair