More controversies trail new insurance capital base policy

More controversies are trailing the Tier Based Minimum Capital Solvency, TBMSC, policy of the National Insurance Commission, NAICOM, as the Association of Senior Staff of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions, ASSBIFI, has raised more posers to the purported industry consensus on the policy.

The industry senior staffers have hinted that there was no consensus on the commencement date for the implementation contrary to the position of NAICOM and some industry leaders.

In a communication to NAICOM and the industry community last week ASSBIFI stated: “Although the Honorable Commissioner for Insurance posited that the new tier based recapitalization was unanimously agreed upon at the Insurers’ Committee retreat in February in Abeokuta, we beg to differ as our employees have disclosed that their understanding and expectation is that the restructuring will be risk based and not tier based, and that they will be given enough time line which will neither be the initial January 1st 2019 date nor the newly announced October 1, 2018 date.’’ In addition the senior staffers argue that contrary to the position of the industry regulator, there was no unity of views on the implication of the policy on the industry. They stated: “While the Commissioner argued that the new tier based regime does not require either a mandatory injection of fresh capital funds by the insurer or the cancellation of license of any operator, our concern is that the effect of such increase on the citizenry has not been well thought out. The socio-economic effect of imposing new tier based capital regime without enough time for proper planning would be rife and catastrophic.

ASSBIFI also contradicted the regulator’s position on the policy impact and the roll-out strategy saying: “The idea that the decision was a complimentary measure to the ongoing implementation of the risk based supervision program is not tenable, because the resultant effect on its operational impact in form of higher regulatory compliance exist, change in the risk appetite and internal capital trigger points, change in level playing field, review of investment strategy, culture and process, matching adjustment, illiquidity premium treatment and capital injection by investors who are mindful of year 2019 as an election year would be rift and catastrophic, otherwise, many of the organization will embark on massive staff rationalization that will further jeopardize the already saturated unemployment market in the country and the resultant job loss would be more calamitous health-wise by reason of depression, hunger, and financial incapability.”

Accordingly, the decision by NAICOM to backdate the commencement date to October 1st this year from January 1st, 2019, is not going down well with the financial sector labour group. ASSBIFI has therefore threatened to resist the move and demanded that NAICOM extend commencement date to December, 2019.

ASSBIFI in a document signed by its National President, Mr. Oyinkan Olasanoye and Acting Deputy Secretary, Yekeen Shittu, said, “We may need to resist anything that will lead to job loss, the embarrassment this may attract in an election year may be unimaginable to the government and viral effect on the economy.”

According to the Association, the time frame is poised to do more harms than good to the economy as it is bound to result in job losses with attendant increase in unemployment, a major campaign point for the government that promised creation of three million jobs.