UAE Central Bank revokes licence of Cogent Insurance Broker

Regulator also removes company from broker registry due to weak compliance framework

The UAE Central Bank has been taking strict measures to combat regulatory breaches in the insurance sector in recent months. Photo: UAE Central Bank
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The UAE Central Bank has revoked the licence of Cogent Insurance Broker, which operates in the Emirates.

The banking regulator also struck its name from the insurance broker registry as it continues to crack down on regulatory and compliance failures by insurance companies and professionals.

The administrative sanction follows the findings of the central bank that Cogent had a weak compliance framework and failed to meet obligations, the regulator said in a statement on Thursday.

"The central bank, through its supervisory and regulatory mandates, works to ensure that all insurance companies and insurance-related professionals abide by the UAE laws, regulations and standards,” it said.

"This is to safeguard the transparency and integrity of the insurance industry and the UAE’s financial system."

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

Last December, the regulator 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 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 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 combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

In July, the UAE announced plans to establish federal prosecution offices dedicated to money laundering and other economic crimes.

The new offices are viewed as a “first step towards investigating and cracking down on economic crimes and money laundering”, state news agency Wam said at the time.

They will deal with corporate crimes, bankruptcy, regulation of competition, financial markets, intellectual property and trademarks, and customs evasion offences.

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: December 14, 2023, 10:28 AM