The Hidden Traps Behind Premium Financing (Chinese Article)

Estimated reading time 6 minutes
12 Dec 2021
The Hidden Traps Behind Premium Financing   |  10Life
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12 Dec 2021

Estimated reading time 6 minutes

在低息環境下,具有槓桿效果的保費融資(Premium Financing)甚為流行,甚至有保險顧問形容等同「買樓」。不過,保費融資是否如想像般美好?有甚麼「伏位」投保人需要注意?

所謂保費融資,是指透過借貸方式買儲蓄保險,然後保單將成為銀行抵押品,貸款成數高達9成甚至是95%,從而達到以小博大效果。

舉例,若果保單保費(包括預繳)為200萬港元,假設每年保證回報率為3%,5年後獲得利息回報32萬港元;有合作銀行願意提供90%貸款,年利率約1.2%,還息不還本,預期總利息開支為10.8萬港元,意味投保人只需付出20萬港元,便能獲得約21萬港元淨回報(未計手續費),5年間總淨回報率為105%。

在樂觀情景下,保費融資可以為投保人帶來龐大利潤;但假設投資及利息環境逆轉,亦可以帶來重大虧損,背後風險不得不注意:

1.香港或邁向加息周期

保費融資美好一面是低利率環境時可以輕鬆套利。以市場上一些熱銷保費融資方案為例,利率以1個月銀行同業拆息(H,現時低至0.1%)加1%至1.2%,或最優惠利率(P)減2.75%計算,並以最低者為準,而儲蓄保險保證回報率約3%。

惟市場預期美國聯儲局明年底前會加息3次,每次幅度為0.25%,再計及往後踏入加息周期,假設每年加息3次直至利率正常化為止,在本港聯滙機制下,最終本港H會穩步上升,甚至是P上升,令投保人繳付利息成本增加。

2.預期回報或遜於預期

上述保險例子是具有保證回報,但市場上很多容許保費融資的儲蓄保險都是非保證回報為主,甚至是沒有保證回報,但偏偏這些「預期回報」表現非常亮麗,成為保險顧問一大賣點,吸引投保人參與。

惟若果預期回報不及預期,而香港又踏入加息周期,隨着利息開支增加,加上回報較預期為低,最終有機會出現虧損,所以投保前必須注意有關保費融資回報是保證還是非保證。

3.保險顧問誘按樓再融資

過去十多年,本港物業錄得龐大升幅,不少保險顧問慫恿業主將層樓轉按套現,獲得低息按揭貸款。假設成功套取300萬港元,保險顧問再推銷將這300萬港元進行保費融資,以槓桿倍數5倍(按揭成數80%)計算,保費高達1,500萬港元,再假設回報率以3%計,回報5年間隨時又倍增,變相獲得300萬港元盈利。

然而,當市場利息環境逆轉,除了保費融資利率會上升,連按揭利率都會上升,甚至連物業都有機會變成負資產,但保單退保有機會出現虧損;此外,一旦非保證回報率不似預期,最終「幾重夾擊」下,投保人的償債能力風險急升。

4.險企若出事保單變「負資產」

如果是保證回報的保險,正常而言價值是固定。不過,萬一保險公司信用評級下跌、出現流動性危機、甚至是倒閉收場(亦即是信貸風險),令保單價值下跌,其時銀行給予借款人的信用額度或貸款會被重新審視,有機會要提供額外抵押品。

若果保險僅主要提供非保證回報,當現金價值部份表現不佳時,同樣會被銀行要求增加抵押品。

5.保單權益轉讓予銀行

由於保單已經轉讓予銀行(承讓人)作為抵押品,基本上銀行可以代表保單持有人行使權利,如領取應付權益、要求保險公司提供資料等。如果借款人未能繳付貸款利息,銀行可以將產品退保並取回退保價值,扣除欠債後再支付予保單持有人;如果退保後仍未能找清欠款,則仍然需要繼續償還負債。

假設受保人身故,而其時貸款尚未還清,則銀行可以指示保險公司先將身故賠償作還款用途,餘下才繳付給受益人。

一般而言,保單持有人亦要在銀行同意下,才可以行使保單權力,包括冷靜期權益、更改受益人、提取保單戶口價值、更改繳付保費方式等。

銀行及中介人銷售有缺失

事實上,除了要留神保費融資本身風險外。金管局及保監局早前聯手調查保費融資,並於今年9月底發佈調查結果,發現不少中介人銷售行為存在缺陷,10Life現摘錄部份:

  1. 過度槓桿
    正常而言,保費融資就借款人的負擔能力測試,應該是考慮借出貸款規模。但這筆貸款卻被個別保險公司及保險顧問用作「支持」客戶具有負擔能力的理據,導致投保人過度槓桿(over-leveraging)。另外,保險公司亦沒有查核現時客戶持有的生效保單當中,有哪些正在繳交保費,更沒有檢查這些保單有沒有作為抵押品進行借貸。

  2. 證明文件不足
    保險公司承保及對客戶進行盡職審查時,應該會要求客戶提供財政能力的證明,以證明有足夠資產還錢。不過,更多時候客人未能證明資金來源是來自「流動資產」,更多是以「非流動資產」,包括物業的市值、壽險現金價值、聯名戶口資金等作證明。

    保險公司甚至會要求銀行聲明客戶資產水平,尤其是銀行本身就是保險中介人,但實情是就算銀行未有提供相關資料,保險公司亦會將有關資產聲明照單全收。另外,部份保險公司獲悉客戶有其他債務,例如透支、按揭,但選擇視而不見。

  3. 未解釋清楚風險
    保費融資等於客戶將保單權利及利益作為抵押予銀行,以獲得融資,因此客人需要完全明白有關風險。然而,個別保險公司在發出保單或保單生效後,才通知客戶保費融資的風險,風險披露聲明毋須客戶簽署;有一間保險公司發出大量保費融資單後,竟然沒獲得客戶風險披露聲明簽署。有保險公司將抵押品風險融入保險建議書,成為一般風險披露聲明,而沒有作出額外提醒及解釋。

  4. 銷售失當
    有代理將保費融資及保單捆綁成一種「銀行產品」出售。該代理更自製銷售材料聲稱產品「沒有風險」、「最強定期存款」,具有誤導成份。另外亦有保險中介人將保費融資介紹成支付方法,而沒有談到其實際影響,最終令投保人未有注意實際收益或會較中介人最初提及的為低,原因是部份會被利息抵銷。

  5. 冷靜期
    在保費融資領域,使用冷靜期取消保單的權利其實是由貸款人(銀行)持有,但保險公司未有向客戶提及,有機會構成誤導,令客戶感到混亂。另外,保費融資一旦提取,即時會收取利息,即使冷靜期權利已經行使。然而,部份銀行作為中介人以及貸款提供者,未有在銷售時向客人提及這項利息開支。

須理解保險產品及融資條款

上述風險對於投保人最大憂慮是,當銀行及保險公司容許過度槓桿存在,而客人原意接受過份槓桿,以小博大,一旦出現流動性問題時,則會有未能還款風險。

最後,消費者參與保費融資前,必須清晰了解保險產品本質,例如是保證回報還是非保證回報,亦應清楚閱讀所有風險,明白借貸涉及利率上升風險;而保險顧問及銀行亦應審視投保人財政狀況,避免慫恿他們按樓後再參與融資,從而出現過度借貸。 

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Any information on 10Life Platform ("10Life Information"), including but not limited to Product Comparison, Product Ratings, Blog Articles are intended for general education purpose and reference only and should not be constituted as any insurance, financial, investment or other professional advice or solicitation to buy insurance, financial or investment products. 10Life Information does not take into account your individual needs. Reading 10Life Information should not be considered as conducting a suitability assessment. You should only rely on information authorised by insurance companies and/or seek independent advice from licensed intermediaries before purchasing any insurance products or making any insurance decisions. While best effort is used when collecting, validating and updating 10Life Information from various channels, none of 10Life Group and its subsidiaries, affiliates, agents, directors, officers and employees will be responsible for any liability arising from using 10Life Information or for any claims and/or losses caused thereby, and no warranty or guarantee is made on the accuracy, completeness and timeliness of the information.

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Jack, Ng Wai Lap

黃維立

AXA Unit Manager

4.7
3933
606

Nik, Leung Tsz Kei

梁芷萁

10Life Financial Manager, Insurance Specialist

4.9
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274

Winnie, Ng Wai King

吳惠琼

FTLife Agency Manager

4.8
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Even, Shum Miu Chu

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恆泰 高級理財顧問

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孫哲遠

AIA Associate Director, Wealth Management and Protection

4.4
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Liu Lai Ting

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FWD Senior Branch Manager

4.7
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