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Time running out for life companies to get licenced

Insurance companies have just three weeks left to get licenced or they won't be able to operate.

Monday, August 19th 2013, 1:11PM

The Reserve Bank, which has the new role of supervising insurance companies says there are only three weeks left until the licensing deadling is reached.

While all life companies have a provisional licence they will need a full one by September 9 to continue opearting. According to the most recent list from the bank six life companies are yet to secure their full licences. These are AIA, AMP Life, Partners Life, National Mutual Life, TOWER Health and Life and TOWER Life.

Reserve Bank manager insurance oversight, Peter Brady, says the bank is working to complete assessment of applications where all the requested information has been provided before the deadline. 

"From 9 September 2013 it will be an offence to carry on insurance business in New Zealand, as defined in section 8 of the Insurance (Prudential Supervision) Act 2010, without a licence," he says in RBNZ newsletter. "Carrying on insurance business in New Zealand after this date without holding a licence is an offence which could be subject to a fine of up to $1,000,000."

He says once the bank completes this current licensing phase it will turn its focus to ‘business as usual’ supervision.  As part of this the bank is moving into a more stringent approach to compliance breaches. 

"Internal work has recently been undertaken around formally recording all compliance breaches.  Insurers are urged to ensure that their obligations are understood and deadlines for information and reporting to be provided to the Bank are met.  If you have any questions you should contact your assigned supervisor."

For a full list of insurance companies and their licencing status click here

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