Legislators seek reorganisation of Philippines’ Insurance Commission

If passed, central bank will become a “super regulator” similar to Singapore’s and Malaysia’s

Legislators seek reorganisation of Philippines’ Insurance Commission

Insurance News

By Gabriel Olano

Two separate bills have been filed at the Philippine legislature’s lower house seeking to restructure the Insurance Commission and place it under the jurisdiction of the central bank Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

If either of the bills is passed, it would make the BSP a “super regulator” along the vein of regional neighbours Monetary Authority of Singapore and Bank Negara Malaysia, according to a report by the Manila Bulletin.

As of present, the Insurance Commission is under the Department of Finance, while the BSP controls banks and non-bank financial institutions with quasi-banking functions. Recently, the BSP’s charter was amended after a more than 20-year period, giving it authority over other financial institutions such as credit-granting firms and payments operators.

While BSP officials did not respond to requests for comment, the report cited sources from within the central bank, saying that the bills “do not make sense” as the BSP charter would need to be amended before it could take control of the Insurance Commission.

Representative Sharon Garin, the author of one of the bills, said that her proposal also seeks to transform the Insurance Commission into a collegial body, similar to the BSP, which has a monetary board composed of seven members. Currently, the Insurance Commission is headed by a single commissioner, Dennis Funa.

According to Garin, converting the Insurance Commission into a collegial body with four commissioners serving six-year terms will “bring stability” to the regulator and the insurance industry, the report said.

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