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FSA to probe effectiveness of GI regulation next April

The Financial Services Authority is to conduct a review in April 2006 into the effectiveness of the general insurance regulatory regime.

The focus will be on Retail Conduct of Business requirements and how successful general insurance regulation has been.

Clive Briault, managing director of retail markets, revealed the FSA’s plans at the Chartered Insurance Institute’s annual conference last week.

He says: “If the review leads us to conclude that changes to our rules and guidance are necessary, we will consult on these in the usual way.”

But he did say any possible changes could be hampered by European requirements, in particular those in the Insurance Mediation Directive and the Distance Marketing Directive.

As part of the review, the FSA is looking for feedback from the industry on which areas could be improved. Consumer research will also be used to show whether the intended benefits of the regime are starting to emerge and whether consumers are making good use of the information provided. Checks will also be made that the industry is complying with the regime.

In his speech Briault praised the sale of payment protection insurance in the mortgage market. The regulator has been conducting a review of PPI to establish the risks it poses when linked to other financial products.

He says: “We have just completed a series of visits to look at PPI selling in firms ranging from high street banks to motor dealers and small mortgage intermediaries. Our findings are variable. Some firms demonstrated good compliance with our rules.

“We found that regular premium PPI sold with prime mortgages seems generally compliant but selling practices in other sectors are poor.

“We are determined to improve standards in this market and intend to publish in November examples of good and bad practice so firms know what we expect from them.”


Scottish Provident adjusts premium rates

Scottish Provident has adjusted premium rates on its death or earlier critical illness benefit, effective from September 26 2005, with the majority of rates decreasing and a small number increasing. Ricky Okey, director of Abbey Mortgage and Protection says: “This reprice demonstrates our commitment to offering people a great deal on their policies and reinforces […]

Sales of regular MPPI generally compliant say FSA

Clive Briault, managing director of retail markets at the FSA, has revealed sales of regular premium MPPI are generally compliant with FSA rules, although other sectors selling PPI are continuing to perform poorly. In a speech at the Chartered Insurance Institute annual conference, Briault said: “We have just completed a series of visits to look […]

Late payers face internet shame

The threat of exposure on the internet is being used as a deterrent against late payers. A website called, named after the minimum time it takes people to pay up, claims it is finding success with companies which have previously tried everything, including the courts, to get offenders to hand over cheques for old […]

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Company sick pay – new findings

Research by insurer LV= suggests that some 11 million employees in the UK have no company-paid sick leave entitlement. So if an employee from within the above grouping cannot work through illness or injury for any period of time, their only income would likely be that provided by state benefits alone.


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