February 2015

Talk Around the Bazaar

The Uganda Regulatory Authority has licensed 88 firms, including seven new insurance companies entering the market. At the moment, there are eight Life insurers and 21 non-Life carriers and so, big developments can be anticipated. The Observer has further details at http://observer.ug/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=35795:-insurance-authority-licenses-88-firms&catid=38:business&Itemid=68

Recently the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank sent a team to Georgia as part of their Financial Sector Assessment Programme. The report has been issued and states that the country’s economy has withstood the conflict with Russia well. Prospects are improving, following the signing European Union – Georgia Association Agreement. The report highlights many positives as well as challenges and can be accessed at https://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/scr/2015/cr1509.pdf

As part of its reform programme to enhance the capability, effectiveness and transparency of its administration and management, Malaysia is introducing a 6% goods and service tax from the 1st April. This will apply to many aspects of daily life including insurance. Wikipedia has the story at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goods_and_Services_Tax_%28Malaysia%29

The Shariah Supervisory Council of Labuan Financial Services Authority has passed a law which allows it to license takaful captives and reinsurance companies. This will enhance the territory’s ability to compete and offer a wider range of support and solutions. Captive International has the full story at http://www.captiveinternational.com/news/labuan-permits-takaful-captives-997?utm_source=Insurance&utm_campaign=357da23d9b-Captive_Weekly_News_22_01_2015&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_f246694353-357da23d9b-27166897

Guernsey has been crowned European domicile of the year for the third successive year at the UK Captive Services Awards 2015. The awards, now in their third year, formed part of the Captive Live UK 2015 Conference in London. Having pulled ahead of a strong challenge from the other candidates (Dublin, Gibraltar, Luxembourg and Malta), the island is justly proud of this achievement and readers can see more at http://www.guernseyfinance.com/press-room/news/2015/01/guernsey-named-europes-best-captive-domicile-for-third-straight-year/

“The cost of insurance premiums in Europe could rise if the EU doesn’t make important changes to a set of data protection rules which it is currently considering.” These are the opening lines of a Press Release from Insurance Europe. This thought-provoking document can be accessed at http://www.insuranceeurope.eu/newsroom/737/51/Proposed-EU-data-protection-rules-could-increase-cost-of-insurance

Singapore’s government will set up a new agency to strengthen cyber-security amid more reports of high-profile hacking incidents worldwide. ZDNet has more detail of the Cyber Security Agency (CSA) which commences operations on the 1st April and readers can find more detail at http://www.zdnet.com/article/new-government-agency-to-oversee-singapores-cybersecurity-operations/

Egypt plans to create a national reinsurance company. Four local insurance companies have already been nominated as capital contributors and other carriers, banks and financial institutions are expected to add to this group. The newly formed reinsurer is expected to operate in the Arab, African and Egyptian insurance markets later this year. Asia Insurance Review has more at http://www.asiainsurancereview.com/News/View-NewsLetter-Article/id/31966/Type/MiddleEast/Egypt-Proposed-reinsurance-company-to-have-US-450-mln-in-capital

Gibraltar’s Financial Services Commission (FSC), along with the country’s government, has initiated plans to rationalise over 80 different pieces of current legislation and multiple FSC guidance notes into one act and a single accompanying regulatory handbook. Quite a task, which the Gibraltar Chronicle calls “ground-breaking” as one can see at http://www.chronicle.gi/headlines_details.php?id=35393

In the United States, the Senate is being urged to speed up the passage of a cyber security information-sharing bill because recent incidents show that legislation is needed to help businesses improve their awareness of cyber threats. Business Insurance has the story at http://www.businessinsurance.com/article/20150128/NEWS06/150129828?tags=|299|329|313|302|83

The UK insurance market has called for the its supervisory body to take on staff with industry expertise gained from holding senior positions in the sector. The transition of poacher to gamekeeper is not an easy one as old friendships and loyalties become strained. Still the International Underwriting Association has a point as Intelligent Insurer tells us at http://www.intelligentinsurer.com/news/boe-needs-more-experienced-staff-iua-4743

Famous quotations. Here are some words of wisdom which have survived the passage of time…

  • “The garden takes after the gardener” – Russian proverb
  • “Experience is the name so many people give to their mistakes” – Oscar Wilde