Last update: 11-Dec-2013 1:52 am
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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New Insurance Bill not likely this year
The long awaited Insurance Bill is not likely to be passed this year, Wendy Ho-Sing, deputy Inspector of Financial Institutions, Central Bank, said yesterday. “Initial work was done in 2001 and we have had extensive consultation with the public between the period 2004 to 2009. The Bill was actually laid in Parliament last year and since then it has relapsed. It will be re-laid in Parliament before the end of this year,” she said.
“The Minister of Finance would like the Bill to be reviewed by the Joint Select Committee as an additional measure of caution. While we consider this progress made on the new Bill, we think it is unlikely that the Bill will be passed in 2013.” Ho-Sing spoke yesterday at the T&T Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors’ (TTAIFA) seminar, Responding To Changes, at the Capital Plaza in Port-of-Spain.
She said she hopes the Bill will be passed in 2014: “The recent global financial crisis and our own local Clico crisis underly the need for a robust, regulatory framework to protect the system and consumers from financial system in T&T.” Ho-Sing said the current legislation has been in existence for decades and modern times require updated laws.
“The current legislation dates back to 1980, even further, and there is need for legislation to incorporate international best practices and the facilitation of an effective regulatory framework in financial services. Over the last few decades the financial services sector developed rapidly in T&T as well as the world. The banking and insurance sectors in 2012 held assets close to $159 billion,” she said.
Ho-sing said in the past T&T had not been fully compliant with international standards on money laundering but progress has been made in that area. “T&T came under a sort of heightened monitoring and evaluation because they thought that our legislation and law enforcement practices were not fully up to speed and fully compliant with the international standards. So as a country we have done a lot in improving ourselves and getting ourselves ready,” she said.
Curtis Dass, president, TTAIFA, said he hopes the Insurance Bill will correct the shortfalls of the past. “Over the last few years our industry has had its fair share of challenges. The new Insurance Bill is attempting to provide a regulatory framework that minimises these challenges and a much safer environment for its members. As service providers we must have a comprehensive understanding of the Bill and how our relationship with our customers will be affected,” he said.
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