Economy, Business And Markets

Insurance Chief Resigns Over Salary Scandal

Insurance Chief Resigns Over Salary ScandalInsurance Chief Resigns Over Salary Scandal

Head of Central Insurance company of Iran, Mohammad Ibrahim Amin, said on Wednesday he was stepping down as president of insurance industry’s sole regulator, following the unreasonably high salaries paid to senior managers that was disclosed on social media networks earlier this week.

Several images of CII senior officials’ paychecks for the final month of the previous fiscal year that ended in March, leaked on social media, show that some top executives pocketed between five to 10 times more than their usual salaries, with the heftiest belonging to an official who had received a 885 million rials ($29,100) which included generous  perks and “emergency loans.’’

Amid the controversy, Minister of Economy Ali Tayyebnia, ordered a committee to be formed on Sunday to immediately look into the issue. Later, CII announced it had returned 2.1 billion rials ($69,100) of the fat cat salaries to the treasury at the weekend with Amin appointing a new director of human resources.

The CII, however, officially rejected all claims of wrongdoing saying that all payments had been in accordance with regulations. The probing committee announced late Tuesday that perks and other receivables accounted for a major portion of the paychecks. It added they had not found any evidence suggesting such payments in the past.

  Defending Turf

The Supreme Audit Court, however, weighed in saying that the bulk of the perks is a contravention of regulations and “even though the CII had rectified its payroll system for the past two years, there are still problems with the six-month period ending March 2014.

The body added that a couple of state-owned bank managers also received illegal payments at the end of the previous year, which is being investigated.

“CII directors face charges and the case will be sent to the judiciary for further action.”

Mohammad Ibrahim Amin, however, officially tendered his resignation to Tayyebnia on Wednesday in an open letter. He apologized that such issues had taken place under his watch.

 “I accepted the CII job even though I could get a higher salary in the private sector, because I have faith in your judgment,” he wrote. “I thought that I had the ability to reform the industry.”

He referred to lifting the capital levels of insurance companies, promoting transparency of financial statements, improving the status of agents, and helping victims of the dissolved Tose’eh Insurance reimburse their money as some of his achievements.

“An online platform has been developed for the industry, allowing the CII to regularly supervise the performance of insurers,” he told the minister.

The mandatory reinsurance share was lowered to 10% from 50% two years ago, “A national reinsurance company was planned to separate the commercial activities of the CII.”

Unnamed informed sources in the Ministry of Economy told ISNA Tayyebnia would accept Amin’s resignation by Wednesday.