The Ugandan Insurance Regulatory Authority (“IRA”) has released clarification on its recently published bancassurance guidelines.
Following the publication of the Insurance (Bancassurance) Regulations, 2017, the IRA published guidelines on the licensing of financial institutions as bancassurance agents. These set out the forms and procedures for the licensing application, application fees, obtaining regulatory approval from the Central Bank, professional indemnity and other requirements. Among the requirements was for a financial institution to have an agency agreement with a minimum of three non-life and two life insurers.
However, following meetings with the Uganda Bankers Association, this requirement has been dropped. A financial institution may now sign up with a single insurer and be licensed to distribute insurance products solely for that insurer. This allows insurers the much sought after advantage of an exclusive relationship with a financial institution as a distribution channel for their products.
This clarification does not, however, relieve a financial institution of its obligations under the Consumer Protection Guidelines issued by the Bank of Uganda. Where a financial institution requires a customer to take out an insurance product (say, for an individual borrower to take out life assurance), the financial institution is required to offer the customer a pool of at least four insurers from whom to make their selection.