UK regulator closes investigation into life assurance providers

Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has today announced that its remaining investigations into firms, following its thematic review into the fair treatment of longstanding customers in the life insurance sector, have each been closed.

The FCA launched the investigation following a thematic review, published in March 2016. This identified further work was required to determine whether six of the 11 firms that were involved in the review had failed to meet our standards. The six firms were Abbey Life, Countrywide Assured, Old Mutual, Police Mutual, Prudential and Scottish Widows.

The investigations into Police Mutual and Scottish Widows were closed earlier this year, also without further action.

All remaining investigations have now been closed. The FCA found the conduct of the four remaining firms (Abbey Life, Old Mutual, Prudential and Countrywide Assured) did not warrant enforcement action. In each case, some issues have been identified during the investigations, which are being addressed as part of our ongoing supervision of those firms.

The FCA published its Final Guidance publication in 2016. This sets out the expectations on how life insurance firms treat their closed-book customers fairly, including when disclosing the existence of paid-up and exit charges to existing customers.

Christopher Copper-Ind
Christopher Copper-Ind is Publisher and Editor of International Investment. His previous publishing experience focused largely on the Middle East and emerging markets, and he was Editorial Director of The Business Year, based in Istanbul, for three years before moving back to London in 2017. He is the author of How to Negotiate, to be published by Macmillan in 2019.

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