HC Deb 03 July 1906 vol 159 cc1626-7
MR. BOLAND (Kerry, S.)

I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that the Mutual Reserve Life Insurance Company, of New York, have given up their offices at 79, Cannon Street, London; can he state what sum was lodged by this company with the Board of Trade as security for the policy-holders; whether any, and, if so, what part of this sum has been withdrawn; and on what grounds was such withdrawal allowed by the Board of Trade; and can he say what security, if any, has been left for policy holders.


I am informed that the Company in question have given up their London office. The sum of,£20,000, as required by the Life Assurance Companies Act, 1870, was deposited with the Court of Chancery by the company when commencing their business in this country in 1886, but the amount was withdrawn by order of the Court in January last in accordance with the Act which provides for the repayment of the deposit as soon as a company has accumulated out of premiums the sum of £40,000. The Board of Trade are not aware of the nature of the security for policy-holders in this or any other insurance companies.


Were the Inspectors of the Board of Trade aware that this company's system was actuarially unsound from the very beginning, and did the Board of Trade take any steps with regard to it?


Lest the public should be under any delusion on the subject, I may say that the Board of Trade is not responsible in connection with the soundness of a company. We do not audit their accounts. The whole question is now being considered by a Committee of the House of Lords.


Did the Board of Trade get notice of the withdrawal of the money from the Court of Chancery?


I will inquire.


Will the right hon. Gentleman see that the particulars of this case are laid before the House of Lords' Committee?


Yes; if my right hon. friend will bring the facts to my notice I will certainly see that the House of Lords' Committee has the information.