CBL’s nightmare continues as it plans to pull out of French construction and COO departs

New Zealand-based insurer CBL has revealed plans to pull out of the French construction insurance business, one of its largest sectors.

It also announced on 15 February that its chief operating officer, Suzanne Tindal has left the company in the aftermath of recent events.

It has been a turbulent two weeks for the insurer.

Since 2 February, it has stopped trading on two stock markets (Australia and New Zealand), it was ordered to increase its capital by two reserve banks, had its credit and financial strength ratings downgraded by AM Best, and it also announced that it was expecting a net loss of between NZ$75m-$85m for 2017.

Tindal took up her role on 1 February. However, Tindal and CBL, in an announcement from the New Zealand Stock Exchange, have agreed to end their employment relationship.

The expected loss, which CBL puts down to an increase in the future claims reserve for its French construction business, has led to the putting up a NZ$100m premium reserve.

The insurer, which also operates in the UK and other European countries, says the move out of French construction insurance will allow it to concentrate on more profitable core businesses.

In 2016, 61% of CBL’s GWP was from its French construction insurance business.

As well as this, CBL paid NZ$150m for a 71% stake in Securities and Financial Services Group (SFS), a French-based construction insurance business, in January 2017.

CBL has been approached for comment, and the final accounts are due to be published later this month, on 27 February.