Romanian regulator warns BT Aegon over pensions marketing
ROMANIA - The Comisia de Supraveghere a Sistemului de Pensii Private (CSSPP), the regulator for private pensions, has issued a written warning to the BT Aegon Fond de Pensii SA for failing to inform the regulator about the "illegal actions of their sales force".
BT Aegon, a joint venture between Aegon and Banca Transilvania, was given the warning after it was discovered three members of the marketing firm employed by the pension fund had signed private pension contracts for their clients before being approved by the CSSPP.
Although the breach of the legal provisions relating to the marketing of the fund were made by agents of Grawe Pension Broker Services, both BT AEGON and Grawe were sanctioned by the CSSPP for not meeting the 15-day deadline for "administrators or marketing agents" to report any illegal activity by the sales force once it was discovered.
A spokesperson for the CSSPP confirmed there would be "no further actions" against BT AEGON or Grawe Pension Brokers over the incident, however the three employees who sold the pension contracts have now lost their authorisation and have been removed from the register of marketing agents.
That said, the spokesman warned "if such actions persist" the CSSPP could impose further sanctions "at least at the same level or higher than recently issued".
These sanctions are part of ongoing investigations by both pension funds and the regulator, following the four-month marketing period for second pillar pensions that ended in January, to discover if there was any mis-selling by marketing agents.
BT Aegon is the eighth-largest second pillar pension provider in Romania, with a market share of contributions of 2.7%, according to figures from www.privatepensions.ro, although ING remains the largest provider at the end of July 2008, with a 38.2% market share by contribution and almost 1.4 million members.
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