Government Mandates Four Insurers to Enhance Practices

The Financial Services Agency has taken action against four major nonlife insurers for engaging in inappropriate practices related to presetting premiums for contracts with corporate clients. This move comes after the insurers—Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Co., Sompo Japan Insurance Inc., Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Co., and Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance Co.—admitted to exchanging information on insurance premiums and engaging in other practices that violated the Antimonopoly Law.

The Financial Services Agency has issued business improvement orders to the four insurers under the insurance business law. These orders require the companies to take thorough measures to prevent any recurrence of such practices, regularly report the progress of their implementation, and clarify management responsibility. The insurers have admitted to engaging in these inappropriate practices for contracts with over 100 companies, including the Tokyu Corp. group, which is involved in real estate, railway, and other business operations.

Financial Services Minister Shunichi Suzuki has condemned the widespread and repeated inappropriate acts, describing them as “very malicious.” He emphasized the seriousness of the situation during a press conference, stating that the companies engaged in suspected cartels in violation of the Antimonopoly Law. Suzuki urged the insurers to address the underlying factors that contributed to these problems, including cross-shareholdings, sales cooperation unrelated to insurance contracts, and a corporate culture that disregards customer protection.

The Financial Services Agency’s actions are a significant step in holding these major nonlife insurers accountable for their inappropriate practices. By issuing business improvement orders and demanding transparency and accountability, the agency is sending a clear message that such behavior will not be tolerated. The insurers involved in this scandal must now take drastic measures to improve their situations and restore public trust in their operations.

It is essential for these companies to address the issues raised by the Financial Services Agency and take concrete steps to prevent any recurrence of inappropriate practices. The measures they implement should prioritize customer protection, transparency, and compliance with the law. By doing so, they can begin to rebuild their reputation and demonstrate their commitment to ethical business practices.

The repercussions of this scandal are significant, not only for the insurers involved but also for the broader insurance industry in Japan. Regulators will be closely monitoring the actions taken by these companies to ensure that they comply with the business improvement orders and address the underlying factors that led to these inappropriate practices. This case serves as a reminder that regulatory oversight and enforcement are crucial in upholding fair competition and protecting consumers in the financial services sector.


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