Advisor under supervision after third bankruptcy

By Andrew Rickard | March 10 2016 09:46AM

A life insurance advisor in British Columbia has been placed under supervision after he filed for bankruptcy for the third time.

In a disciplinary decision released late last month, the Insurance Council of British Columbia ruled that Robert Michael Newbrook must be supervised by a qualified life and accident and sickness insurance agent for a minimum of two years or until one year has passed since the discharge of his current bankruptcy, whichever is longer.

Financial difficulties

Newbrook has been a life agent in British Columbia since 1982. In 2014, Newbrook's errors and omissions (E&O) insurance provider notified the Council that his coverage had been cancelled because he had defaulted on the premium financing agreement. Newbrook said that he had failed to make his monthly payments due to financial hardship.

In fact, Newbrook has been in financial difficulties on a number of occasions. The Council learned that he had filed for bankruptcy in 1982, 2000, and 2014. He also filed a bankruptcy proposal in 2008, but it was not accepted. Newbrook expects his current bankruptcy to be discharged in July 2017.

No client complaints

While the Council acknowledged that it had not received a complaint about Newbrook's insurance activities over his lengthy career, in light of his three bankruptcies the regulator does have concerns about his financial reliability.

"While there was no evidence that any insurance clients had been affected by these bankruptcies, the fact that the Licensee had multiple bankruptcies during his career as a life agent was a serious issue," reads the decision signed by Insurance Council of British Columbia chairman Brett Thibault.

Council concluded that Newport does represent a risk to the public, and that this risk could be mitigated by placing him under the supervision of a qualified life agent.

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