UAE Central Bank cancels registration of two insurance companies

Seagull Insurance Services and Al Shorafa Insurance Services struck off over regulatory breaches

The UAE Central Bank has introduced a number of measures to regulate the financial sector in recent months. Photo: UAE Central Bank
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The UAE Central Bank has cancelled the registrations of two insurance companies, Seagull Insurance Services and Al Shorafa Insurance Services.

The names of the two insurers were struck off the broker registry as the Central Bank clamps down on regulatory offences.

The decision was taken in accordance with the applicable rules, the banking regulator said on Wednesday.

The nature of the breach committed by the two insurance brokers was not disclosed.

“Through its supervisory and regulatory mandates, the Central Bank works to ensure that all insurance companies and professions related to insurance companies comply with the UAE laws and regulations to safeguard the transparency and integrity of the insurance industry and the UAE financial system,” the Central Bank said.

The Central Bank move comes at a time when it is taking strict measures to combat regulatory breaches – including money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

In December, it issued new guidelines for licensed financial institutions operating in the insurance sector to help them to enforce their statutory anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing obligations.

The guidelines discuss money-laundering and terrorism financing risks relevant to life insurance and other investment-related insurance products, and how insurers can identify, assess, manage and mitigate them.

In May, the Central Bank removed the board of directors of an insurance company operating in the country and appointed a temporary committee of experts to replace it for six months.

The banking regulator has launched a number of initiatives in recent months to further improve regulatory oversight of the financial sector.

These include an enhanced regulatory framework to supervise banks’ exposure to the property sector and new guidelines to help licensed exchange houses to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

In 2021, the regulator also instructed all hawala providers – informal fund transfer agents operating outside the banking system – to register with it, in an effort to strengthen oversight of money transfers.

Updated: June 07, 2023, 7:23 AM