ABI warns of life and pensions industry regulation ‘overload’

Firms regulated by the Financial  Conduct Authority are in danger of being “overloaded” by regulations, and could potentially miss vital European regulatory deadlines, the Association of British Insurers has warned.

Last week, the UK’s financial watchdog outlined its plans to revamp financial services in the country, via its latest Financial Advice Market Review Progress Report and Guidance Consultation.

Hugh Savill, director of regulation at the Association of British Insurers, which represents the UK’s insurance industry, said that while the association agrees with the ethos behind the FCA’s plans, there was general concern among its membership that there was currently too much being expected of them to deal with at once.

As a result, Savill believes that it could leave some of the life companies struggling to meet their obligations and to meet standards that have been set for them by the European Union, for changes to firm’s key features documents and other associated back office changes that have to be implemented via the introduction MiFID II by the end of 2017.

“There is a long way to go before we can say that affordable and accessible financial advice and guidance is there for everyone at all stages of their lives,” Savill said in a statement.

“In view of the major changes to the British pension system, this is a key objective. We can only agree with the FCA that continued commitment and co-operation is needed if we are to achieve this goal.”

‘Very little time’

He added: “The current measured timetable envisaged for the FCA to produce its final requirements leaves firms very little time to get ready for the implementation of MiFID II in January next year.”

As reported, MiFID II implementation was originally due to be implemented at the start of 2017, but a landmark overturn vote in Brussels.

However, UK-based and European financial institutions are still required to make the costly controversial changes – and in the case of UK companies, in spite of the UK’s plan to leave the European Union eventually  – as Europe-wide legislation for all financial firms is still enforceable until the UK has formally left the EU.

Gary Robinson
Head of Video and Ezines at Open Door Media Publishing. Deputy Editor, International Investment. An experienced journalist and filmmaker with more than 20 years' financial services experience, both as journalist and originally as a fully qualified IFA, Gary works across both International Investment and InvestmentEurope titles. Previous video production credits include projects on BBC, C4 and SKY.

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