Fri, Mar 04, 2011 - Page 12 News List

Singfor Life fined over land purchase

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff Reporter

The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) yesterday took action against a life insurance company for violating land purchase and utilization regulations.

The commission meted out a NT$3.6 million (US$122,170) fine on Singfor Life Insurance Co (幸福人壽) and demanded it come up with measures to remedy the situation.

The punishment marked the latest effort by the commission to curb land hoarding by life insurers, a practice that is blamed for pushing up home prices nationwide to unreasonably high levels, especially in Greater Taipei.

“Singfor must submit a remedy within two months, showing how it intends to deal with the plot of land in Xinyi District (信義) within six months,” Joanne Tseng (曾玉瓊), deputy director-general of the commission’s Insurance Bureau, said by telephone.

The land, measuring more than 170 ping (1 ping = 3.3m2), was acquired in 2008 and sits idle today, in violation of the “prompt and profitable utilization” principle governing land purchases, Tseng said.

Last month, the commission tightened land purchase rules, subjecting delayed construction to its approval.

The commission also required Singfor to obtain construction licenses within a year for a plot of land in New Taipei City (新北市) and another plot in Taichung.

“The insurer may also opt to dispose of the plots,” Tseng said.

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