Monday 21 January 2019

Watchdog orders CBL to stop writing new business

CBL Group CEO Peter Harris
CBL Group CEO Peter Harris

Colm Kelpie

The Central Bank has directed an insurance company with 12,500 policies in Ireland to cease writing new business.

CBL Insurance Europe DAC (CBLIE) underwrites construction-related credit and financial surety insurance, as well as professional indemnity and property insurance, and travel bonding.

It is a wholly owned subsidiary of CBL Corporation Limited, which is incorporated and domiciled in New Zealand.

The Central Bank said the insurer continues to operate and that existing policies continue to remain in force.

A spokeswoman for the regulator said CBLIE has 12,500 policies in Ireland.

The development comes just over a week after the Central Bank ordered CBLIE to strengthen its capital base, reserves, and reinsurance security, given its exposure to its parent company, CBL Corporation, headed up by group CEO Peter Harris.

It said earlier this month that it expected to post a full-year after-tax 2017 loss.

The company said it needed to boost reserves to shore up its French construction insurance business.

The company said its originating Insurer, Elite Insurance Company Limited, had gone into solvent run-off in July.

In a statement yesterday, the Central Bank said it "issued a direction to CBLIE instructing it to cease writing business with immediate effect, until further notice".

"CBLIE continues to operate and existing policies continue to remain in force," the company said.

"The Central Bank has required CBLIE to write to all appointed insurance brokers and distribution partners to inform them of the direction.

The Central Bank has also requested that all appointed brokers and distribution partners, with which CBLIE is connected, inform policyholders.

"Any existing CBLIE policyholders who have concerns about their policy should contact the firm directly, or their broker (if the policy was bought through a broker)."

The Central Bank said it and CBLIE continue to work through a number of supervisory issues.

"Until such time as these are resolved to the satisfaction of the Central Bank, CBLIE has been directed to cease writing new business."

The Central Bank said CBL was registered in Ireland and authorised to write business in Ireland and on a freedom of services basis in Belgium, Denmark, France, Italy, Norway, Romania, Spain, Sweden and the UK.

Irish Independent

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