Notice of China Insurance Regulatory Commission and China Banking Regulatory Commission on Regulating the Bancassurance Business
(No.70  of China Insurance Regulatory Commission)
All the insurance regulatory bureaus, banking regulatory bureaus, insurance companies, state-owned commercial banks and joint stock commercial banks, China Postal Savings and Remittance Bureau, and all the credit cooperatives at the provincial level:
In recent years, the cooperation between insurance companies and commercial banks has been continuously strengthened, which plays an active role in widening insurance service fields, providing comprehensive financial services, and satisfying social demands, etc. However, during the course of cooperation between the aforesaid both parties, there are also some irregular acts, which have not only damaged the interests of consumers but also affected the healthy development of their respective businesses. In order to further regulate the bancassurance business, prevent commercial bribery, guard against financial risks, and promote the continuous and healthy development of the bancassurance business, we hereby notify the relevant requirements on further regulating the bancassurance business as follows according to the Insurance Law of the People’s Republic of China, the Law of the People’s Republic of China on Commercial Banks and other relevant laws and regulations:
I. Strengthening the Qualification Administration of Agents
(1)If a commercial bank engages in the vicarious insurance business, its first-level bank shall obtain the qualification for concurrent insurance agents.
(2)An insurance company shall not entrust a commercial bank that has not obtained the qualification for concurrent insurance agents to engage in the vicarious insurance business.
(3)Each concurrent insurance agent can establish a vicarious relationship with two or more insurance companies, however, it shall determine the number of insurance companies to cooperate with according to the development conditions on its own business and its risk control capacity.
II. Strengthening the Internal Management of the Bancassurance Business
(1)An insurance company shall establish a complete and normalized register of bancassurance agents, form a special management department to take charge of the management of bancassurance business, strengthen the internal management and relevant institutional construction, and regularly carry out the internal supervision and inspection of the implementation of rules.
(2)A commercial bank engaging in the vicarious insurance business shall arrange a special department or personnel to take charge of the vicarious insurance business, strengthen the construction of relevant internal control systems, and regularly carry out the internal supervision and inspection of the implementation of rules.
(3)Each insurance company or each commercial bank shall, according to the relevant provisions on the bancassurance business, establish the archives on the bancassurance business for recording down the relevant elements and information item by item.
(4)Both the insurance company and the commercial bank shall reinforce the electronic construction, improve the electronic operating system and the financing system for the bancassurance business, and reduce manual operations.
III. Regulating the Administration of Commission Charges
(1)To engage in the bancassurance business, a insurance company and a commercial bank shall conclude a cooperation contract and specify the rates for commission charges on the basis of equality, mutual benefits, friendly consultation and long-term vision.
(2)An insurance company shall faithfully arrange the commission charges to be paid to commercial banks according to the financing rules, and shall not pay any fee other than the commission charges stipulated in the cooperation contract to any agency, outlet or handling person under any excuse or in any form, including the business promotion fees and other interests given in the name of business contest or incentive.
(3)The vicarious insurance business of a commercial bank shall be subject to separate assessment, and the commission charges shall not be deducted from the incomes obtained from premiums. All the incomes from commission charges shall be incorporated into the accounts, and all off-account assessments or operations shall be strictly prohibited. No commercial bank or any of its staff members can seek for or accept the interests given by insurance companies or their staff members other than the commission charges as stipulated in the cooperation contract.
(4)If an insurance company pays commission charges to a commercial bank, the commercial bank shall issue a Uniform Invoice for Insurance Intermediary Services according to the Notice of the State Administration of Taxation and the China Insurance Regulatory Commission about the Relevant Issues on Regulating the Invoices for Insurance Intermediary Services (No.51  of the State Administration of Taxation).
IV. Regulating the Qualification Administration of Sales Representatives
(1)An insurance company shall correctly guide the selling acts of any bancassurance agent and its operational staff, and shall assume liabilities for the vicarious acts committed by the aforesaid agent within the scope of authorization.
(2)The personnel of a commercial bank for selling insurance products on commission shall regularly receive relevant professional trainings. The training fees shall be borne by the insurance company, and the time arrangements, methods and contents of trainings as well as the rates of training fees shall be specified in the cooperation contract. The contents of trainings shall include the laws, regulations, professional knowledge, marketing skills and professional ethics, etc., and the training time for each year shall not be less than the hours prescribed by the regulatory organ. If an insurance company entrusts an agent to sell new-type personal insurance products, it shall also organize special trainings for the sales representatives according to the relevant provisions.
(3)An insurance company shall actively guide the vicarious sales representatives of banks to sit for the qualification examination for sales representatives and to obtain a Qualification Certificate for Insurance Agents as well as other qualification certificates as required by the regulatory organ. After October 31, 2006, all vicarious sales representatives shall pass the qualification examination for insurance agents and obtain a Qualification Certificate for Insurance Agents if he plans to sell investment-linked products, omnipotence products or any other kind of products as designated by the regulatory organ.
(4)An insurance company can arrange an advisor of bancassurance to take charge of the trainings, contacts and relevant services concerning the insurance business of vicarious banking outlets. The advisor of bancassurance shall be a regular employee of the insurance company, have passed the qualification examination for insurance agents and obtained a Qualification Certificate for Insurance Agents.
V. Regulating the Selling of Products
(1)Each insurance company and each commercial bank shall practically strengthen the propaganda of bancassurance products and the management of information disclosure. Each kind of promotional materials shall be uniformly printed, distributed and managed by the head office of the insurance company or the branch it authorized, and the branch, vicarious outlet or sales representative is strictly prohibited from illegally printing promotional materials or altering their contents.
(2)Promotional materials shall comprehensively and accurately describe insurance products according to the insurance clauses, disclose the operators, insurance liabilities, surrender charges, cash value and costs deduction in the eye-catching places, and shall not magnify or do so in any disguised form the interests from the insurance contract, not promise to offer any uncertain benefits or conduct any misleading demonstrations, not include any false or hidden statements or statements concerning unfair competition. During the course of selling, a sales representative shall promote bancassurance products in an objective and fair manner, and shall not make any misleading or untrue propaganda.
(3)An insurance company shall strengthen cooperation with the bank, and divide the market, develop diversified insurance products complementary to banking products by considering the insurance demands of banking customers and the characteristics of banking sales.
(4)Insurance companies are encouraged to deeply seek for cooperation potentials with banks, expand cooperation fields to online banks, credit cards, corporate-oriented business and other off-counter businesses, and actively grope for non-counter promotional models, such as financial management accounts and phone numbers, direct selling and the selling to enterprise customers.
VI. Strengthening Supervision and Inspection
(1)Each insurance regulatory bureau and each banking regulatory bureau shall, in light of their own responsibilities, strengthen the supervision and inspection, strictly investigate and handle illegal or irregular acts or unfair competition acts such as sales misleading, off-account assessment and arbitrary costs.
(2)Each insurance company and each commercial bank shall try to provide comprehensive pre-sale and after-sale services to customers, and actively cooperate with the local insurance regulatory bureau and the local banking regulatory bureau to conduct well the work regarding customer complaints, and practically safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of customers.
VII. Strengthening the Communication and Exchange inside and outside the Industry
(1)Each insurance regulatory bureau and each banking regulatory bureau shall urge local insurance associations and banking associations to adopt industrial self-discipline measures as soon as possible, establish an exchange and coordination mechanism inside the industry, strengthen self-constraint and mutual supervision, commonly maintain the normal order of the bancassurance market, beat commercial bribery and control malicious competition.
(2)Each insurance regulatory bureau and each banking regulatory bureau shall establish a communication and exchange mechanism, regularly report the situation and coordinate relevant policies.
This Notice shall come into force as of the date of promulgation. If the bancassurance cooperation agreements that have been signed between the insurance company and the commercial bank do not conform to the relevant requirements in this Notice, they shall be amended or re-signed according to this Notice before September 30, 2006.
Postal savings and remittance institutions, urban credit cooperatives and rural credit cooperatives shall be governed by this Notice by analogy.
China Insurance Regulatory Commission
China Banking Regulatory Commission
June 15, 2006