3 Questions to Mister Doe
When it comes to the administration of dormant bank accounts and unclaimed life policies, the quality of data, the inflexibility of internal procedures and complex processing is causing banks and insurers big problems. Vladimir Nguekam, CEO of digital analytical firm Mister Doe talks to Mazars about how taking a digital approach can lead to better compliance.
Since 1 January 2016, banks and insurance companies must comply with the new Eckert law, which aims to improve protection for savers and the beneficiaries of life insurance policies. What’s behind its introduction?
Vladimir Nguekam: Despite a law passed in 2007 aiming to force insurance companies to identify deceased policy-holders, four well-known insurers were fined a total of 103 million euro between April 2014 and June 2015 by the French supervisory authority ACPR for failing to meet the demands of this law. So since 1 January 2016, new obligations imposed by the Eckert law require more stringent efforts by banks and insurers to trace the owners of dormant accounts and the beneficiaries and heirs of unclaimed policies that currently total 4 billion euro in France*
Why are banks and insurance companies finding it so difficult to trace beneficiaries?
Vladimir Nguekam: Two major problems are the reliability of databases and outdated administration processes. Most information systems consist of multiple subsystems and more or less dated technologies. A customer database containing erroneous or incomplete information entails the deployment of vast resources to be certain that an owner is still living. In terms of administration processes employed, almost all the players concerned are still using office automation tools such as Microsoft Excel to manage their dormant accounts and unclaimed policies. These tools do not lend themselves to a collaborative approach or make it easy to trace the successive stages of handling these cases. The difficulty of providing a full history of the administrative processes involved is one of the main reasons for the penalties imposed by the regulator.
What is the solution for bringing banks and insurers into compliance with the Eckert law?
Vladimir Nguekam: The solution is to digitalise and computerise many of the procedures that are currently causing problems. By using Big Data technologies. enterprises can map and secure the various stages in handling the documentation to enable closer monitoring of activities. It’s an approach that also provides key performance indicators that are essential for complying with the Eckert law. For example, With a single ergonomic tool, all parties concerned can take part in handling unclaimed contracts while mapping the different tasks completed. The same tool records all the administrative procedures that are carried out by all the players, enabling them to shift from a cooperative to a collaborative mode. It’s an approach that not only increases the reliability of data and speeds up procedures, but it improves performance in order to better serve customers.