Willis Towers Watson (WTW) has become the first global insurance broker to be granted a full license in China.

China’s Banking Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) has granted permission to the UK firm to operate as a fully licensed foreign broker in the country.

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s recent efforts to open up Chinese markets to foreign operators through financial liberalization lead to the Shanghai Insurance Regulatory Bureau expanding Willis Towers' existing permit to encompass all lines of insurance brokerage.

Willis Towers Watson Asia head Scott Burnett said “Willis Towers Watson was one of the first foreign insurance brokers to enter the Chinese market, with a presence dating back to 1994.

“This latest announcement speaks to the long term commitment of our company to China and the recognition of our reputation and relationships not only in China but across the globe. The expanded license represents a significant vote of confidence by the CBIRC in Willis Towers Watson, our capabilities and our expertise.”

Willis Insurance Brokers China head Wise Xu stated that the company has a strong network in China, with better relationships with carriers and a global placement capability.

"Combined with our global knowledge and experience, the extended license to operate in China enables us to further grow our business with existing and new clients and opens up many new potential opportunities over time,"Xu said.

Willis Towers Watson, with its roots back to 1828, is an advisory, broking and solutions provider to help reduce risks. The company has more than 40,000 employees serving in more than 140 countries.

The company designs and delivers solutions that manage risk, optimizes benefits, cultivates talent and expands the power of capital to protect and strengthen institutions and individuals.

Image: China’s Banking Insurance Regulatory Commission has approved Willis Insurance Brokers to operate as domestic brokers in the country. Photo: courtesy of solargaria at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.