Insider Business Bulgaria's top prosecutor orders probe of regulator over Cyprus-based insurer

Bulgaria’s top prosecutor orders probe of regulator over Cyprus-based insurer

Bulgaria’s chief prosecutor ordered the country’s main intelligence agency on Monday to investigate financial regulator KFN’s oversight of the Bulgarian branch of Cyprus-based Olympic Insurance Company Ltd, after the firm was placed in liquidation.

The Financial Supervision Commission, or KFN, said it prohibited Olympic Insurance’s branch in Bulgaria from signing new contracts on May 10 after it was informed about problems at the insurer by Cyprus’s Insurance Companies Control Service.

The Cypriot insurance regulator appointed a provisional liquidator for Olympic Insurance, which operated in Cyprus and Bulgaria, on Aug. 10, after revoking the company’s insurance licence for failing to meet minimum capital requirements.

Nearly 200,000 Bulgarians holding compulsory third-party car liability policies with the company have been left without cover.

In an unusual move, chief prosecutor Sotir Tsatsarov asked Bulgaria’s State Agency for National Security to investigate whether KFN had complied with legal requirements when Olympic Insurance began operating in Bulgaria in 2009 and how it had exercised its supervisory powers, the prosecutor’s office said in a statement.

At the same time, Finance Minister Vladislav Goranov told reporters the government would urge KFN’s Deputy Chair Ralitsa Agayn, who is in charge of insurance supervision, to resign.

“We find serious shortcomings in (the work of) the head of the insurance supervision’s department,” Goranov said.

KFN, Agayn and Olympic Insurance could not immediately be reached for comment.

Amid public anger, holders of Olympic Insurance policies were scheduled to stage a protest rally in Sofia on Monday evening.

Prime Minister Boyko Borissov will attend an extraordinary parliamentary session on the issue, which will be held on Tuesday in response to opposition demands.

Agayn said last week Olympic Insurance’s Bulgarian branch owes 9.35 million levs ($5.47 million) to 197,551 Bulgarians for early termination of their motor third-party liability insurance policies.

Bulgarians have bought Olympic Insurance policies worth about 40 million levs but the drivers’ losses will be smaller as many policies were payable in installments, she said.

Last month Bulgaria applied to join the European Union’s banking union as part of its bid to enter the “waiting room” for euro zone membership and it must strengthen insurance supervision to improve its chances.

Bulgaria’s overall financial system has stabilised since the collapse of its fourth largest lender in 2014, which triggered the worst financial crisis in the country since the 1990s and undermined trust in its banking supervision

Top Stories

166 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday

The Health Ministry announced 166 new COVID-19 cases on 30 October, out of 3,672 laboratory tests, taking confirmed infections to 4,217. The break-down of new...

Samos island: two children dead from collapse of wall; six dead in Turkey’s Izmir area

Two children died when a wall fell on them on the island of Samos on Thursday, the first reported Greek casualties of an earthquake...

Protest outside Polish Embassy organized Saturday 15.30

A protest outside the Polish Embassy is being organized for tomorrow, Saturday at 15.30 in solidarity to the women in Poland since the government...

Seismologists warn of strong aftershocks to follow Samos earthquake

Seismologists warned that people should expect a series of strong aftershocks to follow the 6.7 Richter earthquake that hit the island of Samos and...

33-year-old arrested for stealing dogs

A 33-year-old man from Larnaca has been arrested in connection with a case of stealing animals. According to the police an arrest warrant was pending...

Taste

Squash soup

Ingredients: 1 kg pumpkin, cut into small cubes, approximately 5 cups 2 medium (400g) sweet potatoes, cut into cubes, approximately 2 ½ cups 1 chopped leek, only...

Mezedes

No visit to Cyprus is complete without enjoying the traditional meal of many small dishes known as ‘meze’. This large feast, which has been a...

Prawns with fried cheese, barley shaped pasta

Put the barley shaped pasta into a small pan with salted water, bring to a boil and when tender, drain. Peal the prawns leaving...

Salmon and shrimp sheftalies

Mix all ingredients for tabbouli in a bowl and keep to one side so flavours can combine. Prepare the sheftalies: wash and soak the casing...