ICBC suspends 21 life insurance agents

Published: October 10, 2017

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones

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The Insurance Council of British Columbia (ICBC) has placed 21 life insurance agents in Surrey under investigation, accusing them of colluding to cheat on their own licensing exams.

Speaking to CBC about the case, ICBC executive director Gerald Matier said that an audit of exams written over the last year found that multiple-choice exams were distributed with answers that were nearly uniform from right and wrong. The exams were written between October 2016 and June 2017.

All the exams were written by agents affiliated with an unnamed Surrey branch of World Financial Group.

“So many people coming from the same location having pretty well the exact same answers — particularly on the ones that were wrong — that’s what kind of makes it look very unusual,” he said.

“We’ve never encountered it before…. We’ve caught the odd person cheating, but we’ve never found it at this level where there appears to be collusion involving more than one person.”

Matier says the investigation shows the cheat was likely setup as a coordinated effort. ICBC believes one person took the exam to memorize the answers and then give the sequence to others. Matier points out that the scheme was low tech and not always effective. For example, some people were given the wrong answer sequences and failed.