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Insurance companies operating in Barbados but failing to publish their financial information publicly are breaking the law.

centralbankbuildingThe Financial Services Commission has raised that concern and issued a new circular to the industry reminding them of the statutory requirement.

In the correspondence circulated to insurers yesterday, the FSC’s Director of Insurance and Pensions, Randy Graham, said pursuant to sub-section (2) of Section 39 of the Insurance Act, “every company is required to publish the balance sheets and the profit and loss account statements annually in the Official Gazette and in a daily newspaper within four months of the end of its financial year”.

“The documents referred to … must be certified by an auditor and in the case of long-term business, by an actuary,” Graham said in the one-page circular.

“All insurance companies must comply with these requirements and provide to the commission a copy of the information published from the Official Gazette and from the edition of the newspaper that contains the financials to show evidence of compliance.”

The official made it clear his new communication was “not intended to be a substitute for, nor replace any additional obligations mandated by the act, its regulations, or the Financial Services Commission Act 2010-21”.

The FSC’s Insurance Division is responsible for the supervision and regulation of the island’s domestic and offshore insurance sectors as authorised by the above act.

While supervision and regulation of the domestic insurance companies and intermediaries, the Association of Underwriters, and qualifying insurance companies, is in accordance with the Insurance Act, the Exempt Insurance Act, 308A supervises and regulates exempt insurance companies, management companies and holding companies within the offshore insurance sector.

The FSC noted that “regulation of the insurance industry involves licensing and registration of these entities, and the ongoing monitoring through off-site analysis and on-site inspection of companies, to ensure compliance with the regulations; approving of all insurance products; investigating of complaints; and imposing of sanctions or other corrective measures where breaches occur”.

Yesterday’s circular by the state agency is its latest effort to keep the insurance industry alert.

Last year it circulated several new guidelines and proposed legislative changes to insurance industry executives and received their feedback via a consultation paper and meetings. (SC)

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