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In a major victory for the Burma Campaign UK’s Insurance Campaign, QBE Insurance has announced it has cancelled insurance it provided to Burma and is to cease providing insurance to companies operating in the country. QBE is the largest managing agent at Lloyd’s of London and describes itself as “Australia’s largest international general insurance and reinsurance group”.

In a statement to the Burma Campaign UK, Frank O’Halloran, QBE’s Chief Executive said: “QBE has reviewed its various portfolios around the world and has cancelled the few incidental Burmese exposures on multinational insurance policies which could have a direct or indirect benefit for the current ruling party in Burma… QBE does not provide insurance for any business owned in Burma.”
 [View the statement in full below]

“Foreign insurers provide a financial lifeline to Burma’s brutal regime. They insure the projects that make the regime billions of dollars a year. These billions don’t help the people of Burma, they entrench military rule and fund campaigns of ethnic cleansing in Eastern Burma” said Johnny Chatterton, Campaigns Officer at the Burma Campaign UK. “QBE’s welcome decision shames insurers like Catlin and Atrium that continue to help fund the Burmese regime.”

The role of QBE in the Burmese insurance market was highlighted in the Burma Campaign UK report, “Insuring Repression” published in July 2008. QBE was added to the “Insurance Dirty List” after an investigation by The Burma Campaign UK discovered company documents detailing two correspondent offices in Burma. The report shamed 12 companies that provide insurance to companies in Burma and highlighted how some of the world’s insurance giants have, after pressure from Burma Campaign UK, taken the decision not to provide insurance to companies in Burma. This includes AIG, ALLIANZ, Aon, AVIVA, AXA, ING, Munich Re, SCOR, Swiss Re and Willis.

For more information contact Johnny Chatterton +44 (0) 20 7324 4714

Read the report, Insuring Repression here.

QBE’s statement in full:
“QBE has always had a policy that the company does not fund the current ruling party in Burma. To provide further certainty that the policy is being adhered to, QBE has reviewed its various portfolios around the world and has cancelled the few incidental Burmese exposures on multinational insurance policies which could have a direct or indirect benefit for the current ruling party in Burma. QBE does not have an office, an agent or any employees in Burma and does not provide insurance for any business owned in Burma.”
Frank O’Halloran
, Chief Executive Officer
, QBE Insurance Group Limited

QBE states it is the largest managing agent at Lloyd’s on its website: “QBE Underwriting Limited is a wholly-owned subsidiary of QBE Insurance Group and is the largest managing agent operating within the Lloyd’s insurance market, with £1.12bn of capacity under management for 2008”. Source:http://www.qbeeurope.com/lloyds/index.htm


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