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| 02 October, 2017

Saudi regulator stops SABB Takaful from issuing insurance or savings products

Business man drawing insurance concept

Business man drawing insurance concept

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Suspension does not absolve the insurer from its obligations and claims related to existing insurance policies

DUBAI - Saudi Arabia's financial regulator has stopped Sharia-compliant insurer SABB Takaful from issuing or renewing insurance or savings products, citing weaknesses in the firm's internal controls.

The Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA) has also asked the company to appoint a consultant with the regulator's approval to study the causes of the weaknesses and work towards resolving them, it said on its website.

It did not specify what the weaknesses were.

SABB Takaful could not immediately be reached for comment outside of normal business hours.

The suspension does not absolve the insurer from its obligations and claims related to existing insurance policies, SAMA said.

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The regulator has toughened its stance against lack of compliance in the insurance sector, suspending several insurance companies from issuing new policies in the past few months.

SABB Takaful is majority owned by Saudi British Bank and HSBC, according to Thomson Reuters data.

In August, Saudi British Bank agreed to buy HSBC's 32.5 percent stake in the Islamic insurer.

(Reporting by Sylvia Westall and Saeed Azhar; Editing by Mark Potter) ((Saeed.Azhar@thomsonreuters.com; +65-64035664 ; Reuters Messaging: saeed.azhar.reuters.com@reuters.net))