Head of largest insurance company of developers subject to investigation

Head of largest insurance company of developers subject to investigation
Alexander Artamonov Photo: Vladimir Trefilov / RIA Novosti

Alexander Artamonov was suspected of abuse of authority.

The General Director of the largest insurance company on the construction market, Respect, Alexander Artamonov, became a defendant in a criminal case of abuse of authority, Vedomosti reports, citing the conclusion of the Prosecutor General’s Office.

The report of the department clarifies that the case was initiated under part 1 of Art. 201 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (Abuse of Authority) and concerns Vologda developer Stroyindustriya, whose responsibility to equity holders was insured by Respect. In December 2017, the construction company was declared bankrupt; consequently, payments of insurance compensations to housing equity holders should have started.

But Respect has already owed more than 540 million rubles ($7.8 m) in 387 insured cases. In a conversation with the publication, Artamonov assured that payments are being made, but could not specify the amounts and deadlines. He clarified that an investigator from Vologda had already come to him for testimony. The General Director of Respect stressed that he did not consider himself guilty and planned to challenge the initiation of criminal proceedings.

It is noteworthy that a week earlier, the Central Bank excluded company Respect from the list of insurers of developers. The regulator did not name the reason for this decision. Artamonov himself, in an interview with RBC, commenting on this step of the Central Bank, claimed that the company "has nothing to reproach itself with."

Later, he clarified that the reason for the exclusion of Respect was the order to eliminate violations related to refusals or delays in payments.

“The Central Bank sent us an order to eliminate the violations: to remove the fact what we do not pay to everyone. But we declare that we pay to everyone where there are no cases of fraud; moreover, when there is a court decision that has entered into force, we pay. There are delays in payments that have nothing to do with us: there is a certain period when a court decision comes into effect,” he said.

According to the Bank of Russia, in terms of fees Respect is considered to be the leader of the market of insurance of developer’s liability to housing investors. In the first nine months of 2018, it raised 4.7 billion rubles ($68.2 m) worth of premiums on this type of insurance, the company's market share is almost 40%.

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