The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has started verifying whether the insurance companies are complying with the requirement of maintaining functional websites with contents in accordance with its notifications or not.
This exercise has exposed various deficiencies in the websites of many insurance companies as the SECP has taken a serious note of this non-compliance, and has issued directions to 33 of insurance companies to ensure maintenance of functional websites within 30 days.
The SECP had earlier notified all companies (listed or non-listed) vide its SRO No 634(1)/2014 of July 10, 2014, to maintain functional websites having detailed information about the company, its objectives, governance structure, election of directors and financial position to benefit its members, potential investors, and the public.
In a subsequent notification SRO 1222(I)/2015 of December 10, 2015 and SRO 16(I)/2016 of January 4, 2016, the companies were further required to maintain the information prescribed in SRO 634(1)/2014 in Urdu on their websites.
Furthermore through SRO 684(I)/ 2015 of July 15, 2015, the companies were required to place the web link of JamaPunji on their websites. In addition, the SECP through circular No 18 of December 30, 2011, directed all insurance companies to maintain necessary information about all their products and claims/grievance handling mechanism on their websites in an easy-to-follow manner and in both English and Urdu.
Moreover, through circular number 11 of May 19, 2014, the SECP had directed all insurance companies to place on their websites an updated list of all policyholders’ names who have not claimed their benefits along with the information about the contact person who would provide the necessary information to the insured or his/her legal heirs.
This mandatory updated website will serve as a valuable tool for current and potential investors and policyholders to make informed decisions.
Updated websites will also benefit the companies, giving them an effective platform to provide all relevant material information to stakeholders and to seek their feedback wherever required.
The SECP has been constantly asking companies to comply with these mandatory requirements, believing that this is a step towards aligning participants with global technological advances and the best international practices.