Grenada moves to improve insurance regulations

ST. GEORGE’S, Grenada, Thursday July 28, 2011 – Parliament has passed an Insurance (Amendment) Act 2011 which seeks to change certain provisions of the existing legislation, including covering companies outside Grenada.

The amendment broadens the definition of “local company” to include companies that are in incorporated not only in Grenada, but also incorporated in the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union.

“This broadening on the definition is in keeping with the drive by the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union to create one single financial space in the OECS sub-region. It will treat all OECS companies the same,” explained Finance Minister Nazim Burke.

The amended law will also require that the principal representative of a foreign insurance company to be a resident of Grenada instead of a citizen.

Burke said that in the wake of the collapse of financial institutions like British American Insurance Company and CLICO, governments in the Caribbean have been concerned about the environment in which insurance companies and other non-bank financial institutions operate.

“I am proud to say that Grenada has been among the countries out front in enacting the new legislation with respect to insurance companies,” the Finance Minister said.

He reminded his colleagues in the House of Representatives that insurance legislation passed last year covered issues such as “the statutory pledges that are to be complied with, the fees that are to be paid by insurance companies, and the circumstances under which an insurance company may no longer be allowed to engage in business in this country.”

Burke explained that certain “minor changes” are now necessary in to improve the law, and to address concerns related to lack of supervisory and regulatory arrangements.

The Finance Minister added that many of the non-bank financial institutions pose a systematic risk to the financial system, because of the blurring of distinctions between banks and non-bank financial institutions. Click here to receive free news bulletins via email from Caribbean360. (View sample)