ISLAMABAD:Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) Chairman Zafar Hijazi and the Federal Insurance Ombudsman (FIO) Raeesuddin Paracha have agreed that insurance policyholders should be apprised about the role of the office of the FIO at the time of obtaining the insurance policy or lodging their claims with the insurance companies.Hijazi also emphasized that the grievances of the insurance policyholders be resolved on priority. The SECP chief offered fullest cooperation to the FIO’s office for expeditious resolution of the insurance policyholders’ grievances.In a meeting held on Wednesday at the SECP’s head office, between the Chairman SECP (Zafar Ul Haq Hijazi) and the Federal Insurance Ombudsman (Raeesuddin Paracha), the SECP chairman briefed him about the role of the SECP in effectively regulating insurance industry of Pakistan. He emphasized that there is a dire need for speedy resolution of the grievances of the insurance policyholders.
The SECP chief urged the FIO to simplify the process for filing the complaints by the insurance policyholders. In this regard, the need for creating awareness about the grievance forums available to the policyholders or claimants was discussed and it was resolved that the insurance companies be advised to include the information regarding the grievance forums i.e. the FIO, Small Dispute Resolution Committee and the SECP on their proposal forms, claim forms as well as on their websites .Meanwhile, SECP briefed the Pakistan Microfinance Network (PMN) and Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) about the roadmap for smooth transition of existing Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs) into Non-Bank Micro Finance Companies (NBMFCs).The SECP has recently introduced the regulatory framework for Non-Bank Micro Finance Companies (NBMFCs).As part of its commitment towards the regulation of Non-Bank Micro Finance Institutions (NBMFIs), the SECP holds a briefing session for Pakistan Microfinance Network (PMN) and Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF).The objective of the session was to discuss the recently introduced regulatory framework for Non-Bank Micro Finance Companies (NBMFCs).
PMN, being the network of 51 retail microfinance providers representing 99% of the total microfinance outreach in Pakistan and PPAF, being the provider of whole sale funding in micro finance sector, are the two major stakeholders. SECP team gave a detailed presentation to the representatives of PMN and PPAF followed by an extensive briefing session. As per the microfinance framework, the existing Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) can apply for investment finance services license to undertake microfinance business as NBMFCs subject to compliance with certain requirements. The NBMFCs can provide any type of micro financing.During the briefing, a roadmap for the smooth transition of existing MFIs into NBMFCs was also discussed. SECP emphasized upon the role of PMN and PPAF as facilitators in smooth transition of MFIs into NBFC regime.SECP team ensured to facilitate the entire transition process by providing guidance and support.