Regulation of life insurance intermediaries: the AMF calls for discussion

By Hubert Roy | December 02 2014 10:53AM

Eric Stevenson, superintendent of client services and distribution oversight at Quebec’s financial market’s regulator, the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF), has called on the financial services industry to consider how life insurance intermediaries should be regulated. He is making this call in light of the recommendations the International Monetary Fund (IMF) made to the AMF during its inspection in 2013.Stevenson extended this invitation to the industry during a speech delivered during the Gala luncheon at The Insurance and Investment Convention on Nov. 11 in Montreal. In its 2013 inspection report, the IMF pointed out to the AMF that its regulation of life insurance intermediaries was flawed. The IMF called on the Quebec regulator to learn from what other financial institutions have done and make adjustments.

“The principle of being connected to a company and the link with compliance is clearer on the securities side. How can we do the same in life insurance? I invite the industry to consider the matter. Managing general agents may also play a role in this regard,” said Stevenson.

Life License Qualification Program

Another hot topic discussed by Stevenson was the introduction of the new qualification program for life insurance salespeople, the Life License Qualification Program (LLQP). This new program will come into force in January 2016 and it will change the way people begin their careers in the life insurance business. Stevenson pointed out that it was important for the AMF to continue the dialogue to make sure that the transition is a smooth one.

Stevenson also gave an update on the AMF’s expectations in light of Quebec’s revisions to the Act respecting the distribution of financial products and services. In the case of distribution without a representative, he noted that it was important for the AMF to ensure that consumers receive clear and concise information when they purchase a financial product without the assistance of a certified professional.

He also asked for a review of the provincial Financial Services Compensation Fund’s indemnification provisions. He touched on the subject of Internet sales as well, and expressed hopes for legislation in this area.

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