James Lau, Hong Kong's Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, addressed the annual reception of the Hong Kong Federation of Insurers (HKFI) on April 12, where he outlined a number of innovations that Hong Kong's independent Insurance Authority (IA) and HKFI are working on.
"The use of blockchain technology can raise business efficiency and allow insurers to enjoy easy and secure access to timely and accurate data," Lau told attendees. "In this regard, I am glad to note that HKFI is developing a blockchain e-platform for motor insurance. I encourage the insurance industry to continue to devote more resources to embrace InsurTech."
HKFI describes itself as a "self-regulatory body of insurers" that is recognized by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, itself part of China.
HKFI's 2016/2017 Annual Report, subtitled "Vision 2018," does not appear to mention blockchain, so it's unclear how far along development of the e-platform is. The report's section on FinTech and InsurTech, however, does contain a section entitled "Strengthened Cooperation with the Mainland."
For his part, Lau directly referenced Chinese President Xi Jinping's remarks to the Boao Forum for Asia on April 10, in which Xi affirmed an opening up of the insurance industry to foreign investment.
He went on to refer to the Hong Kong government's approach:
"The Government and the IA will strengthen our promotional work and proactively seek the support of relevant Mainland authorities to encourage more Mainland enterprises to set up captive insurers in Hong Kong."
The IA is an independent insurance regulator that took over regulatory duties from the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance in 2017.