NY attorney general sends subpoenas to nine life insurance cos -WSJ

BANGALORE, July 5 Tue Jul 5, 2011 3:03am EDT

BANGALORE, July 5 (Reuters) - New York Attorney General has issued subpoenas to at least nine leading life insurers to examine whether the firms have adequately ensured payouts on policies of some deceased customers, the Wall Street Journal said, citing people familiar with the matter.

The move is another measure of regulatory scrutiny into whether companies have done enough to identify dead customers and their beneficiaries, the Journal said.

It is not clear yet if any enforcement action would be brought under terms of the law, one of the people familiar with the matter told the newspaper.

Some of the companies could not be reached or did not have immediate comment over the holiday weekend, the paper said.

A few insurance firms have confirmed receipt of a subpoena saying it is being reviewed and pledging cooperation with the inquiry, the newspaper said.

The Journal said subpoenas went to units of AXA SA , Genworth Financial Inc , Guardian Life Insurance Co of America , Manulife Financial Corp , Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co , MetLife Inc , New York Life Insurance Co , Prudential Financial Inc , and TIAA-CREF.

"We believe we have compliant and robust practices to determine when claim payments are due and owing, and to adhere to state unclaimed property requirements and regulations," a Genworth spokesman told the Journal.

"We are committed to cooperating fully with the attorney general, as well as with other states conducting similar reviews," a spokesman for AXA's AXA Equitable unit told WSJ. MetLife declined comment to the paper.

None of the companies could immediately be reached for comment by Reuters. (Reporting by Sakthi Prasad and Renju Jose; Editing by Louise Heavens)

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