An Eventful 2017
As the year winds down, the IMF has pegged Malaysia’s GDP growth projection for this year to 4.8% from 4.5%, healthy signs for a better 2018 ahead. And the Statistic Department also marked that the finance and insurance, and business services expanded 5.1% and 8.5% respectively in Q2. The year has also been buzzing with companies dipping their toes into the world of fintech and insurtech, that tie in neatly with the liberalisation of the insurance industry. The phased detariffication of motor and fire insurance, and Bank Negara's LIFE Framework as well as the introduction of the Financial Technology Enabler Group will result in product innovation, diversification of distribution channels, greater transparency and consumer protection – paving way for Malaysia to become a more matured insurance market. Under the LIFE Framework, the regulator has placed emphasis on Treating Consumers Fairly (TCF), a worldwide regulatory and supervisory approach in ensuring that customers are not shortchanged. Among the initiatives under Bank Negara's guidelines is the implementation of the Balanced Scorecard (BSC) where it compliments a company's definition of Fair Dealing to achieve the six outcomes outlined in TCF. A successful implementation of TCF is vital towards creating sustainable insurance players under the changing business landscape. Meanwhile, the Ethics Council Malaysia was launched in April this year, aiming to combat against pyramid schemes, illegal investment and unlawful schemes. With the Council in place, everyone can play an active in minimising these schemes. On this note, MII is in the progress of developing a programme to promote ethical conduct in the insurance industry, encouraging the practice of providing factual and accurate information to consumers. Also since June, MII has been offering an accelerated pathway to professional insurance qualifications through the Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL) for personnel working in the insurance industry. Being the first professional body in Malaysia to do so, APEL allows individuals who are qualified in other disciplines to pursue a professional insurance qualification. Our professional programmes have incorporated new Life subjects, catering to the many needs and demands of all aspects of the insurance industry. We continue to strive to help insurance professionals to keep up with the everchanging consumer demands. In 2015 and 2016, AIF's Talent & Skills Gap Survey showed there is a need for more qualified staff, with the right exposure and experience. MII hopes companies will encourage their staff to take up professional qualifications. As for the seniors in the industry, we invite you to come forward to share your knowledge and experience via our Breakfast Talks, forums and events. Lastly, I would like to wish all readers a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.