Non-life insurance company, Combined Insurance Co. of America has received fines totaling $8.7 million in the United Kingdom and Ireland due to a number of regulatory breaches.
The insurer sells its products via agents affiliated with the company, and is required to pay a fine of $4.36 million to the Central Bank of Ireland through its Combined Insurance Co. of Europe Ltd. division. Separately, the company received a fine worth $4.34 million from the U.K. Financial Services Authority as a result of a failure to manage its selling processes, as well as the ways in which its complaints and claims were managed, according to the Authority.
The central bank released a statement that said that some of the agents affiliated with the company had been acting “dishonestly, unfairly and unprofessionally.” Among the violations were that bank account data was wrongfully obtained from customers, and that this information was used to create policies in the names of other individuals.
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This fine is the largest that has ever been issued by the central bank. According to its director of enforcement, Peter Oakes, the fine that was levied “reflects the seriousness with which we view fundamental regulatory failures, including inadequate systems and controls.”
A spokesperson for the Combined Insurance Irish operation released a statement via email saying that the actions of the central bank was a response to certain business practices that had occurred in the past which met neither the regulatory requirements nor the standards of the insurer itself.
The statement added that action is being taken immediately in order to remedy the problems in question, beginning with the appointment of a new management team and board of directors, as well as the suspension of new sales, and the improvement of controls and processes.