BEIJING, Feb. 22 (Xinhua) -- China's top insurance regulator said Wednesday that it would not allow the insurance sector to become a "club of the rich."
Xiang Junbo, chairman of China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC), told a press conference in Beijing that this year the CIRC will address risks in key areas including corporate management, insurance products and fund application.
He warned that if insurers do not refrain from risky behavior they will receive high punishment ranging from suspensions of businesses to revoking of licenses.
The insurance sector should not be the "club of the rich" or a "hideout for financial titans", he said.
Xiang said insurers should obey regulatory rules and bear their responsibility for society, the real economy and the public, and those who challenge the regulator's boundaries and harm public interests will be expelled from the industry.
The CIRC will improve regulation of insurance companies' management structure, the development of insurance products and the operation of insurance funds this year, according to Xiang.
Using insurance funds for short-term speculation and hostile management takeovers in listed firms should be addressed without mercy, he said.
The "barbaric" behavior of some Chinese insurers that use leveraged money to buy shares in listed companies raised concern late last year. Triggering sharp volatility in the market, such moves annoyed corporate executives and caused individual investors to suffer.