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Global Bankers Companies Face Turbulence

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Colorado Bankers Life Insurance Company and Bankers Life Insurance Company of Florida are trying to keep protecting U.S. consumers against mortality and longevity risk while their holding company deals with concerns about its ownership.

(Related: North Carolina GOP Chairman Faces Charges Related to Insurance Regulation)

The holding company — Global Bankers Insurance Group LLC of Durham, North Carolina — acquired Colorado Bankers Life in 2015 and Bankers Life of Florida in 2016. Eli Global LLC controls Global Bankers.

The Wall Street Journal recently ran an article suggesting that regulators in North Carolina let Greg Lindberg, the chairman and chief of Eli Global, had Global Bankers invest an unusually high percentage of the group’s insurance companies in affiliates.

Lindberg responded with a press release arguing that the he never used dividends to take cash out of the life insurers, has invested more than $500 million in the U.S. insurers in the group, has paid for a team to develop a digital policy administration platform for the insurers’ new insurance products, and has kept the U.S. insurers in the group well-capitalized.

U.S. Department of Justice officials in Charlotte, North Carolina, announced last week that a grand jury had indicted Lindberg, two business associates and the state Republican chairman in connection with allegations that Lindberg had tried to arrange to bribe the state insurance commissioner to take actions that would be helpful to Global Bankers.

The defendants appeared before a U.S. magistrate judge in Charlotte and pleaded not guilty.

Global Bankers has announced that it’s pursuing a sale of its U.S. life insurance companies and has been in active discussions with potential acquirers.

“Global Bankers made the decision to sell its domestic life insurance companies because it believes it is in the best interests of the Company, its policyholders, partners and employees,” Global Bankers said in a statement. “During this process, the collective focus of Global Bankers and its domestic insurance companies will remain squarely on their policyholders and providing solutions to help them address their immediate insurance needs and plan for their long-term financial goals.”

A.M. Best, a rating agency, has said that it has put the credit ratings it has assigned Colorado Bankers Life and Bankers Life of Florida under review with negative implications as a result of the news.

A.M. Best has assigned Colorado Bankers Life a financial strength rating of B++, or good, and Bankers Life of Florida a financial strength rating of B, or fair.

Colorado Bankers Life sells products such as life insurance, annuities and critical illness insurance, and Bankers Life of Florida sells annuities.

Colorado Bankers Life has an active blog, and it has recently posted posts about loyalty programs, critical illness insurance, and mobile technology for agents.

— Read Life Insurance Company Owner Faces Wall Street Journal Scrutinyon ThinkAdvisor.

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