Human resources and quality of management have been ranked the top two concerns among insurers in Singapore, reflecting the intensity of the competition for talent in the local market.

This is according to the latest Insurance Banana Skins biennial survey of the risks facing the insurance industry conducted by non-profit think-tank Centre for the Study of Financial Innovation in association with PwC.

Conducted in March and April, the survey is based on 662 responses from 54 countries, of which 31 came from Singapore.

Roy Clark, Singapore insurance leader at PwC Singapore, said: "The limited labour market and increasing specialisation of the insurance industry has led to a war for talent.

"It is important to attract, motivate and retain talent by providing opportunities to grow and develop professionally, and to ensure the level of competency is consistent with the growing complexity and increasing size of the market."

While human resources and quality of management did rank in the top 10 concerns among insurers globally, the greatest risk facing the insurance industry comes from the wave of new regulations being introduced at the international and local levels.

This is the second successive Banana Skins survey which has identified regulation as the top risk concern for insurers, underlining the continuing uncertainty surrounding major regulatory initiatives.

Dominic Nixon, global financial services risk leader and Asia financial services leader at PwC Singapore, said: "The agenda has become increasingly complex, with companies focusing on business conduct and risk culture. While this will put a strain on resource and costs, it is important for management to build it into the DNA of the organisation."

A breakdown of the industry by sector showed that life insurance companies are specifically concerned about the impact of low interest rates on investment performance, and the task of managing complex and competitive retail distribution networks.

On the non-life side, the main concerns are with excess capacity and competitive pricing, along with the impact of surging catastrophe claims. Concerns in the reinsurance sector are mainly with the security of capacity in a highly competitive market.