Central Bank Governor: Insurance Bill not in limbo
Published: Friday, November 8, 2013
Aleem Khan

The Insurance Bill is not in limbo. So said Central Bank Governor Jwala Rambarran yesterday as he sought to clarify the situation with the long anticipated legislation. Speaking at the launch of National Services Week in Port of Spain on Wednesday, he said: “A major weapon in the building of our regulatory fortress is the Insurance Bill 2013. New insurance legislation is coming. I want to stress the Insurance Bill is not in limbo, it is not collecting dust on a shelf in a government office.

“The Central Bank has been championing the Insurance Bill 2013, which is a meaningful and substantial piece of legislation. It contains a modern approach to insurance regulation and supervision, calls for strengthening corporate governance of insurance companies, and establishes more effective protection of policyholders. The Insurance Bill will address fundamental prudential deficiencies and will include important requirements for insurance companies which are consistent with international best practice.”

Rambarran said Finance Minister Larry Howai “is expected to lay the Insurance Bill before a Joint Select Committee of Parliament before the end of the year.” He also said that regulation of systemically important financial institutions (SIFIs) is at the top of the Central bank’s agenda. SIFIs are what would be colloquially known as companies that are “too big to fail” because they can bring down economies with them.

He said the Central Bank has identified five SIFIs in T&T—the Unit Trust Corporation (UTC) the Home Mortgage Bank (HMB), the Board of Management incorporated under the National Insurance Act (the NIB), the T&T Mortgage Finance Co. Ltd (TTMF) and the Agricultural Development Bank of T&T (ADB). In the case of the UTC, its asset size ($23 billion) is about one-tenth the assets of the financial system.