The Insurance Authority (IA) has taken disciplinary action against three unnamed individuals for using false academic certificates to prove they had minimum education requirements when applying to be insurance agents.
Two of the individuals have been prohibited from applying for a licence for three years.
The other, who admitted the allegation, has been prohibited from applying for a licence for five years.
These cases are legacy matters. The applications for registration were made to the Insurance Agents Registration Board (IARB) under the self-regulatory regime in place prior to the IA taking on the regulation of licensed insurance intermediaries on 23 September 2019.
The regulatory regime for licensed insurance intermediaries which came into force on 23 September 2019 has strengthened the punishment for submission of false academic certificates in the licensing process.
It is now a criminal offence to provide false information to the IA in connection with an application for a licence or an approval under the ordinance. An individual who commits such offence, if found guilty, will be liable to a fine at level five and to imprisonment for six months.
Individuals applying to be licensed insurance intermediaries must establish that they are fit and proper to perform the role.
Being fit and proper requires attaining the minimum education qualifications, but also being honest, reliable and having integrity.
The IA said in a statement: “If individuals submit false academic certificates in seeking to establish their fitness and properness, not only do they fail to prove they meet the minimum education qualifications, they also perform an act so disreputable and so lacking in integrity as to be deserving of being barred from entry into the insurance market for a considerable length of time.
“The IA has no tolerance for such conduct. Prohibition from entry to the insurance market is justified until such time as the individual can establish to the IA’s satisfaction, that he or she has undergone a complete reformation of character and that his or her integrity has been restored, in addition to attaining the minimum education requirements.