Bank of Hawaii has fired 11 insurance employees for reportedly faking attendance in mandatory continuing education courses.
State Insurance Commissioner J. P. Schmidt said the bank informed his office this month that it had terminated 11 of the 27 employees in its Insurance Services subsidiary. Those terminated include the subsidiary president, Wes Imamura.
The subsidiary’s compliance officer, Minna Lehti, will serve as acting president. Recently retired chairman Mike Groholski, also will assist in the interim, said Ron Leach, executive vice president for Bank of Hawaii’s commercial insurance division.
An internal bank investigation found the employees were taking credit for completing mandatory continuing education courses even though the courses had been canceled, Schmidt said.
The state agency is investigating.
The Insurance Division could fine the individuals up to $10,000 each, or suspend or revoke their licenses, Schmidt said.
He said he was satisfied with Bank of Hawaii’s actions and that consumers were not harmed. The bank immediately informed the Insurance Division after it investigated the problem, Leach said.
Insurance producers are required by law to take continuing education classes to renew their licenses every two years.
Bank of Hawaii Insurance Service, one of three bank insurance units, offers employee benefit, property and casualty coverage and other commercial lines for local business clients.
The bank’s other insurance units, Pacific Century Life Insurance and Triad Insurance Services, were not affected by the cheating, said Leach.
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