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The State Duma Committee of Russian Federation supported the bill on introducing simplified identification of individuals when purchasing insurance services

On July 3 the Committee recommended the lower house of the Russian parliament to adopt a bill on introducing simplified identification of insurance companies’ clients in the first reading, reports.
The State Duma Committee of Russian Federation supported the bill on introducing simplified identification of individuals when purchasing insurance services

The bill on simplified identification of insurers’ clients, individuals, was prepared by a number of deputies, including Vladislav Reznik, Evgeny Marchenko and Leonid Simanovsky. The authors proposed amendments to Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act.

These amendments are aimed at facilitating the identification of clients of insurance companies remotely applying for certain insurance services. The current order that requires personal contact of the consumer with the insurer, restrains the spread of electronic sales in the insurance market. The document, approved by the participants of the meeting of the Duma committee on the financial market, has already been discussed providing for a number of comments made at this stage.

"This is the second bill introduction, as previously there have been comments from the committee. There were questions related to the possibility of using simplified identification for certain types of insurance, including life insurance, for conducting doubtful transactions. Deputies implemented the comments and removed life insurance from the list of insurance with simplified identification of citizens", explained Anatoly Aksakov, the head of the committee, during the meeting.

According to the draft law, insurers are given the right to instruct credit institutions, on the basis of a special agreement, to conduct a full or simplified audit (identification) of clients for the purpose of concluding an insurance contract. Besides, the bank may be entrusted with conducting identification of the client's representative or the beneficiary under the insurance contract.

After the adoption of such changes, the legal mechanic of purchaser identification will be simplified. The insurer will no longer need to duplicate a client's verification for his identity, if the bank has already done so. A client’s double check arises if the insurance policy is sold within the framework of bank insurance, for example, to the loan receiver.

The bill does not extend its provisions to insurers of compulsory health insurance (CHI). In addition, the bill eliminates the possibility of simplified identification of the client when concluding life insurance contracts. As it says in the accompanying papers to the bill this approach is in line with the FATF recommendations. Thus, life insurance policies will require additional verification of beneficiaries in order to reduce the risks of money laundering.

The explanatory note to the draft law on simplified identification of insurer's clients contains the following data: 88 suspicious transactions on 124 million insurance contracts were registered in the insurance market in 2016. For 9 months of the year 2017, 47 suspicious transactions were recorded in the insurance market.

Thus, the authors of the bill believe, its implementation is aimed at increasing the availability of financial, including insurance, services without increasing the risk of illegal withdrawal of financial resources.

As stated in the government's opinion on this bill, its implementation is "possible"; the practice offered by the authors corresponds to international standards in low-risk types of insurance. However, the government recommends setting a price ceiling, i.e. "the size of insurance premium, which allows a simplified identification of an individual customer depending on the type of insurance". As a result, the government has supported the bill, taking into account these comments, as it says in the conclusion.

According to the conclusion by the Central Office of the State Duma, there are no comments to the bill. A positive conclusion by the Bank of Russia was presented at the committee meeting. Pavel Livadnyi, the Deputy Head of Rosfinmonitoring, proposed by the second reading to set the limit of the insurance premium, at which a simplified identification is carried out. "It is necessary to establish a certain limit, and if the insurance premium exceeds this limit, the identification must be carried out in full", he noted during discussion. 


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