…licence application pending for more than a year now
The validity of the licence to conduct business as a prominent local insurance company is being called into question and many are up in arms given the composition of the board of directors at the company.
Tracy Gibson, the official at the Bank of Guyana, to whom this newspaper was referred, refused to comment on the matter.
Gibson is the Deputy to the then Commissioner of Insurance, Maria Van Beek, who was responsible for the issuance of licences. Gibson is now a deputy director at the Bank of Guyana’s unit that has assumed the responsibility of the Officer of the Commissioner of Insurance.
This newspaper learnt that Van Beek, in 2008, did not renew that company’s license and an application has since been pending.
This was verified by a senior official at the company who, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that the company was still operating under the license provided under the old Insurance Act. According to the official, the company has not been restricted from carrying out its functions as an insurance company despite the fact that it has not received a new licence.
This, too, is also being questioned by many in the Insurance industry.
Van Beek is on record as late as March 2009, saying that an insurance licence is yet to be granted to the Caricom General Insurance Company, which was formerly known as the Guyana Fire Life and General Insurance Company (GuyFlag).
More than a year has elapsed since the Office of the Insurance Commissioner (OCI) had undertaken the processing of the firm’s application for an insurance licence.
She is also on record as saying that a decision on the matter had been expected since December 2007, but explained that there had been a delay in the final report of the auditors who had visited Caricom General Insurance.
Van Beek had explained that at that time, the Office of the Commissioner Insurance had concluded an inspection and special audit of the company, and that the auditors’ final report was expected by the end of January 2008. Subsequently, in September 2008, Assistant Commissioner, Tracy Gibson, told this newspaper that a decision on the licence should be made before the end of 2008.
When she was asked about the firm’s application for an insurance licence she said: the decision “would be before the end of the year…we are working on it.”
In 2005, Caricom General Insurance had taken the OCI to court after it had denied an earlier application for an insurance licence following allegations that the insurer was involved in a $400M insurance scam.
After the insurer had dropped the case against OCI, the insurance authority accepted another application from the entity.
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