Chairman’s Statement




Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim

Assalamualikum

Dear Stakeholders,

It is with great pride that we welcome you to the 20th Annual General Meeting of Agrani Insurance Company Ltd. We, for the first time have defined the theme for this year’s Annual Report as ‘Honesty is the best policy’. This is a universal truth and there is nothing to replace this. So, we have conceived this truth for managing every corporate transaction of the Agrani Insurance Company Ltd.

BUSINESS STRATEGY AND POSITIVE FUTURE OUTLOOK

We have re-defined our business concept as “Honesty is the best policy”. We will go all-out to implement this policy in every transaction of the company and for this; we would seek cooperation from every stakeholder, business clients, competitors, electronic & print media, the regulatory authorities and above all our staff-desk & development. As alphabetically Agrani Insurance comes first thus the Company gradually will be first in quality service to the insured, quality reporting to the respective authorities, handsome return to the investors, quality atmosphere and compensation to its staff and also appropriate and significant amount of revenue to the Government Exchequer.

AGRANI’S ROLE

Agrani Insurance Company Ltd has been following the rules, regulations and circulars of IDRA strictly. It always respects the decisions of IDRA and endeavors to perform any directions from IDRA without hesitation. AICL is also in line with the gentleman agreement of BIA and it is not going to underwrite deliberately the renewal business of other insurers. If by any means any business is underwritten it is ready to cancel the documents and refund the premium to the insured as per law.  

IDRA

In 2019 Insurance Development & Regulatory Authority (IDRA) has implemented a historical decision with effect from 1 August 2019 with a view to controlling the bank accounts of non-life insurance sector of Bangladesh. Every non-life insurer shall have three premium deposit accounts with any three banks and there shall be another two bank accounts for maintaining capital and to deposit other receipts. There shall be CD accounts with fund transfer from three premium deposit accounts for payment of (i) expenses of management, (ii) claims, (iii) reinsurance premium and (iv) government revenues (like advance tax, income tax, VAT, insurance stamp, duties and other source taxes) and also one CD accounts for each branches of every company any needed money through crossed cheque or fund transfer. IDRA also revised the tariff and circulated among the non-life insurance sector. In addition to the above, IDRA has been working to establish a very congenial atmosphere

BIA

In view of protecting the business volume of each non-life insurance company Bangladesh Insurance Association with the leadership of its president has come to a consensus that the renewal business of one company shall not be underwritten by any other company and by any means if one company does it which shall be given back to the original company. With some exceptions this agreement has been working good and will be applicable till 31 December 2020.

PERFORMANCE OF THE COMPANY

The financial year 2019 was a mixed result of traditional business environment for seven months till July and five months from August to December after implementation of historic decision of controlling the minimum number of bank accounts to run a non-life insurance company. IDRA’s regular monitoring in the field is very much essential to ensure proper implementation by each and every non-life insurance company regarding excess commission and credit business.

DIVIDEND

Given the results achieved this year while keeping a view of the future, the Board of Directors has recommended a cash dividend of 10% i.e., Tk. 1.0 per share of Tk. 10 each subject to approval of the shareholders in the AGM. We would go with our all out effort with the leadership of our new Chief Executive Officer to earn more premium for the company to cement the stakeholders interest in the company. 

UNIFIED MESSEGING PLATFORM (UMP) 

With a view to ensuring proper interest of the insured and to establish transparency in the non-life insurance sector, a common messaging platform to send message to every insured, has been initiated by the Insurance Development & Regulatory Authority (IDRA) to collect the policy information every week from the every non-life insurance company. To ensure effective application every policy or covernote should contain the cell number of the insured.    

REGULATORY LANDSCAPE

The period under review witnessed a fast-evolving regulatory landscape, perhaps one of the foremost being the introduction of Circular No: Non-life 64/2019 dated 2 July 2019 and Non-life 64/2019 dated 8 September 2019 which have a direct impact on the insurance industry. Coming into effect from July 2019, non-life insurance companies will have to pay 14.25% commission to their agents. These circulars significantly affected the non-life insurance market severely but after a few days pressure was coming from the insured for more rebate but open secretly the so-called agents made happy to the insured paying off from their commission earnings. It was fact that the so called but legal agents of non-life insurance cannot consume a single taka but to make the insured happy with all their monies so earned as agency commission after payment of 5% AIT. With a view to ensuring the interest of the valid agents of non-life insurance and also to protect the huge money laundering activities so committed by the agents, the Insurance Regulatory & Development Authority (IDRA) issued Circular No: Non-life75/2020 dated 20 February 2020 effective from March 2020. But in view of COVID-19 pandemic it was held up firstly till May 2020 and secondly up to August 2020 on request by the President, Bangladesh Insurance Association. However, we believe that this circular would be able to ensure the interest of the non-life insurance agents.

CORPORATE GOVERNANCE

The governance systems we have in Agrani Insurance to ensure that the Board and the Company are held accountable for responsibility towards employees, shareholders, customers and the community as a whole. We conceived mechanisms with us to safeguard the rights of our stakeholders with adequate protection for individual whistleblowers. The Company’s adherence to a high standard of corporate behavior and ethics has stood us in good stead. Agrani Insurance has adopted the Corporate Governance Code notified by the Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission dated 3 June 2018.

I am happy to declare that there was no such deviation from the part of Agrani Insurance from any of the provisions of the Corporate Governance Code.

CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY STRATEGY

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has become integral part of business strategy of every corporate house and we would execute our CSR activities in view of ensuring sustainable environment for the generation to come. The management has already kept in its plan to perform some remarkable initiatives as part of its CSR activities which would be flourished soon.

BSEC DIRECTORATE

We had to reconstruct the Board of Directors honoring the SEC Circular No: whereby it was stipulated that every director shall hold at least 2% of paid-up share capital. For this, we did not have any directors from the public subscribers as none of those shareholders hold at least 2% share to become a Director from amongst the public subscribers which lead to non-compliance to the provisions of our primary Act i.e., the Insurance Act, 2010.

FINANCIAL REPORTING COUNCIL, BANGLADESH

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC), an independent government regulatory body under the Financial Reporting Act (FRA) 2015. It is an organization under the aegis of the Ministry of Finance. The FRC will regulate accounting, reporting, auditing and actuarial professions in Bangladesh. The Council main objects as defined in the FRA 2015 are: (i) to promote the provision of high quality reporting of financial and non-financial information by public interest entities; (ii) to promote the highest standards among licensed auditors; (iii) to enhance the credibility of financial reporting and (iv) to improve the quality of accountancy and audit services. AICL welcomes the FRC and assures that it will cooperate with the FRC to actualize its objectives.

APPRECIATION

I take this opportunity to thank my colleagues on the Board for their generous support and for placing their trust in me. The Management team and the staff of the Company have shown continuing commitment not bending from ethical standards while serving for the clients.

Special mention must be made of the Chairman of IDRA, the Members, Executive Directors and all other staff for contributions made towards ensuring sustainability of the insurance industry of Bangladesh. The President of Bangladesh Insurance Association has played tremendous role for the establishment of a congenial atmosphere especially for the non-life insurance sector facilitating to ensure application of historical steps taken by the IDRA and also to mitigate the grievances of some of the insurers through repeated sittings which really deserves appreciation.

I express my gratitude to our honorable shareholders and valued customers for placing their faith in our ability to add value to their investments. I am confident that with the changed scenario of the Bangladesh Insurance Industry as well as our corporate management with talented and innovative leadership team Agrani Insurance Company Ltd would gradually establish a strong financial position in the non-life insurance sector in the years to come.


With warm regards.


Quazi Sakhawat Hossain (Lintoo)
Chairman
Agrani Insurance Company Ltd.
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