, Hong Kong

Hong Kong imposes 14-year license ban on ex-Prudential agent

The agent scammed policyholders to transfer RMB2.35m into his bank account.

The Insurance Authority of Hong Kong (HKIA) has banned a former insurance agent of Prudential Hong Kong from applying for a license for 14 years due to misappropriating premiums from four policyholders. 

Between March 2017 and March 2019, the agent instructed the policyholders to transfer their premium payments, totalling RMB2.35m, into his personal bank account, claiming he would forward the payments to Prudential. 

However, he only forwarded RMB87,151, resulting in the lapse of 10 insurance policies due to non-payment.

Although the agent returned RMB657,073 to Prudential, reinstating five of the lapsed policies, he permanently deprived the policyholders of the remaining RMB 1.62m. 

Prudential is contacting the affected policyholders to provide assistance or compensation.

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The agent attempted to conceal his misconduct by delaying one policyholder's access to her account details and falsely claiming that a non-existent "cousin" was responsible for handling the payments. This deception was revealed during investigations by Prudential and the IA.

The IA’s Disciplinary Panel, operating under the self-regulatory regime of the time, imposed a 14-year ban to send a strong deterrent message, emphasising zero tolerance for such misconduct. 

The panel noted that, under the current regulatory regime, a lifetime ban would have been possible. 

The IA is also referring the case to other law enforcement bodies as part of its commitment to uphold industry standards and penalise severe misconduct to the fullest extent allowed by law.

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