know about this How an insurance company is making sustainable changes in Taiwan
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Taiwan is experiencing a period of change. While the birth rate has been declining for decades, 2020 was a major milestone, with deaths outnumbering births for the first time. It seems inevitable that Taiwan will soon join nations like Japan, Germany and Italy in becoming a “super-aging” society, with more than one in five inhabitants aged 65 or older.
Here at Fubon Life, we are ready to meet this challenge. In an age of change, the only way to succeed is to innovate, and this year the company will focus on four strategies to achieve our goals for both people and the planet. Guided by our brand concept, ‘Be positive and enrich lives’, we will strengthen our organizational development through sales training; promote insurance products and retirement plans that are adapted to an aging society; put sustainability at the heart of our supply chain; and improve remote services and digital competitiveness.
While the pandemic has continued to affect domestic and international markets in recent years, the economy is now steadily recovering. With our diversified channel operations, product strategies and sustainability initiatives, Fubon Life delivered outstanding operating results in 2021, with Net Income After Taxes (NIAT) exceeding NT$100 billion (US$3.4 billion). In addition, our first year cumulative annual consolidated premium income reached NT$165.6 billion (US$5.6 billion) and our total consolidated premium income reached NT$507.2 billion (US$17.2 billion), establishing firmly to Fubon Life as the market leader in Taiwan’s life insurance industry. In addition to that, Fubon Life has abundant resources from Fubon Financial Holdings to provide the public with multi-faceted financial and insurance services. We will continue to deepen the value chain of the insurance industry with our people-oriented approach.
Putting people first in a digital world
With mobile digital technology increasingly penetrating daily life, it should come as no surprise that the online insurance market continues to grow. In this new digital world, however, technological advances are only as useful as the human teams that work alongside them. Technology can improve efficiency, but it is the professionalism and warmth of our staff that make our services what they are.
In response to both the COVID-19 pandemic and the broader trend towards digitization that preceded it, Fubon Life launched several key services to help our staff develop deep and stable relationships with clients, serve clients in a remotely and promote business without interruption. These include the FBFLi smart business management system, the FBSIR online policy health verification system, and the FBVIP video insurance application services, which provide insurance services to all Taiwanese faster and without geographical restrictions.
As part of our goal to achieve a completely paperless, zero-contact service, in September we expect to roll out voice-to-text (STT) technology to enable phone insurance services, and we have begun developing AI technology to speed underwriting . review process to provide customers with the fastest, most convenient and intuitive insurance services possible. Fubon Life will also continue to cooperate with relevant authorities to promote projects such as insurance booklets, consortium blockchain, and insurer-hospital link 2.0 for claim application.
Customers are looking for more diverse coverage that protects them from all eventualities. We responded by creating a five-in-one product that includes liability, medical, long-term care, retirement, and inheritance insurance. To better meet the needs of our aging society, particularly the retirement readiness gap, we are developing competitive investment-oriented insurance products with payment systems that allow clients to accumulate assets over time. The age range will be expanded to help people plan for retirement and inheritance effectively, and we will continue to offer retirement principal repayment products that address a variety of needs.
Customers are looking for more diverse coverage that protects them from all eventualities
The insurance value chain is people-centric, and Fubon Life has fully implemented the principle of treating customers fairly regardless of their circumstances. In 2022, with reference to the ‘Guidance for businesses on the fair treatment of vulnerable customers’ published by the UK Financial Conduct Authority, Fubon Life will focus on the elderly and vulnerable, continuing to provide products and services that meet their needs, as well as developing new products for our senior customers. These will include a dedicated customer hotline, online text chat, microinsurance and a whole range of other friendly financial and insurance services. Such an approach will be key as Taiwan joins the ranks of super-aging societies.
This commitment to personal wellness extends to our staff as well, many of whom are young with exactly the same concerns for the future as our valued customers. A couple of stats to give you an idea of our workforce: The overall hiring goal for this year is expected to exceed 6,000 employees, while in 2021 nearly 50% of employees promoted to sales managers were less than 30 years
The company has also been recognized as the most desirable life insurance employer for young people for 11 consecutive years by RMi magazine. This is due, in part, to our generous employee pension plan (the leader among financial holding companies for 13 consecutive years), as well as the fact that employees benefit from insurance coverage for their families and can participate in our employee stock ownership trust to build a happy life after retirement.
Meanwhile, new parents are entitled to a maternity bonus of NT$100,000 (£3,400), an annual childcare allowance of NT$15,000 ($510) per year for children up to six years of age, and maternity leave beyond the that the state offers. Fubon Life also offers a comprehensive training and mentoring system, smart digital tools, and excellent employee benefits, inviting young talents to work together to build their careers with us.
Leading the way in ESG
Fubon Life continues to develop its responsible investment strategy and alternative energy investment plan, with our green investments totaling NT$1895.1 billion ($64.37 million) in 2021. This year we will strengthen our carbon reporting, launch an internal operation carbon pricing and introduce a science-based eight percent carbon reduction target by 2025. In terms of corporate sustainability reporting, we will adopt stricter standards for corporate self-assessment and incorporate SASB sustainability accounting standards and TCFD climate risk financial disclosure indicators.
Fubon Life’s green finance strategies have been adopted by more than 460 sales agencies and 20,000 tied agents in Taiwan. Last year, Fubon Life focused on river conservation and water resource issues, cooperating with the Society of Wilderness to lead Taiwan businesses in launching a three-year continuous rapid screening survey on river waste.
In 2022, Fubon Life will continue to make an impact in line with Fubon Financial Holdings’ ‘Run for Green’ initiative, creating ‘Work for Green’, a new sustainability innovation mechanism that links sustainability goals to performance.
This year, we will also work with our linked and insured agents to plant more than 10,000 trees in cooperation with the Tse-Xin Organic Agriculture Foundation, choosing sites to plant trees with the aim of restoring the natural ecology. The sites include the Fushoushan Farm in Taichung, which sits on the upper Dajia River within the catchment area of the Deji Reservoir, one of the main sources of water in central Taiwan. By planting trees here, we aim to stabilize the reservoir’s water storage capacity, which in turn helps maintain the water temperature at 17°C, thus safeguarding the habitat of Taiwan’s landlocked salmon. Another tree planting site is Tainan Taijiang National Park, home to the largest lagoon in Taiwan. Our project will help reverse the effects of climate crisis-induced sea level rise on the lagoon by preventing further loss of sand from the sand bar at its mouth.
We also take our social responsibilities seriously. To respond to the needs of our rapidly aging population, Fubon Life is working with the Taiwan Association for Dementia, the Federation for the Welfare of the Elderly, the Formosa Cancer Foundation, the Taiwan Foundation for Rare Disorders, and others. public welfare partners, advocating for issues including better access to healthcare for seniors in remote areas. The company has also actively engaged with county and municipal governments, local communities and universities to expand the reach of care and promote social inclusion to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals. In light of the health risks posed by the pandemic to the nation, Fubon Life continues to play an educational role, raising universal awareness of the importance of risk protection.
We are optimistic about the future of Taiwanese society, but we also look beyond our borders. Fubon Life’s operations in the overseas life insurance markets were successful in 2021, with our subsidiaries in Korea, Hong Kong and Vietnam performing well. We will continue to build on our strengths and develop insurance products targeted at local markets, while carefully evaluating appropriate investment opportunities to expand into the Asian market. By taking this approach, along with our ambitious strategies in Taiwan, we are steadily moving towards our goal of becoming one of the leading financial institutions in Asia.