No blacklisting of politicians, say insurers
IMMEDIATE PAST president of the Insurance Association of Jamaica (IAJ) Hugh Reid has said that the insurance industry has not set out to blacklist certain categories of professionals, including politicians and their relatives.
On Wednesday, North East St Elizabeth Member of Parliament Raymond Pryce charged that politicians and their relatives or close associates are being affected by discriminatory practices carried out by players in the insurance industry.
He said relatives and close associates of politicians are experiencing difficulties getting health, life and motor-vehicle insurance.
However, in a Gleaner interview, Reid said the insurance industry carries out enhanced due diligence, not only for politicians and their relatives, but other professionals.
According to Reid this is a requirement to ensure that the insurer knows his customer and conducts appropriate checks to satisfy regulatory standards that the client is not connected to money laundering.
A senior player in the insurance industry told The Gleaner that certain categories of persons including politicians and senior public servants fall under the designation of 'politically exposed persons' (PEPS).
Under the Insurance Act and its regulation the insurance sector is required to abide by certain anti-money laundering guidelines.
A politically exposed person is defined by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) as an individual who is or has been entrusted with a prominent public function. Due to this position and influence, many PEPs are in positions that potentially can be abused for the purpose of committing money laundering and related offences such as corruption and bribery.