At the turn of the nineteenth century, modern insurance started to spread from the British Isles around the world. Outside Europe and the European offshoots in North and South America, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand, it began to compete with other forms of risk management and often met with stiff opposition on religious and cultural grounds. Insurance arrived in Southeast Asia via British merchants living in India and Canton rather than through agencies of European firms. While the early agency houses in Bengal collapsed in the credit crisis of 1829–1834, the firms established by opium traders residing in Macau and Hong Kong, and advised by insurance experts in London, went on to form the foundations of the insurance industry in the Far East. Until the early twentieth century, they sought to use the techniques of risk management that they had developed in Europe to win Europeans and Americans living in Southeast Asia as clients, along with members of the local population familiar with Western culture.