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By Donia O'Loughlin | Published Sep 19, 2012

ABI warns of ‘predator-prey’ relationship with regulator

Otto Thoresen, director general at the Association of British Insurers, will warn of the need to avoid a ‘predator-prey’ relationship between the insurance industry and incoming regulator the Financial Conduct Authority in a speech today (18 September).

Speaking at an ABI conference on conduct regulation, Mr Thoresen will say that the insurance industry needs to work in partnership with the incoming FCA to ensure regulation delivers for consumers.

He will also call on government to mandate that the work of the incoming FCA is aligned to the wider needs of society, such as getting an ageing population saving for their retirement.

The ABI has set out six key themes for the industry and the FCA to take forward in a partnership relationship, as well as making six commitments on behalf of the industry.

The six key themes are:

making markets and regulation work to deliver public policy goals;

ensuring the regulator is in touch with the consumer experience;

focusing regulatory activities on delivering products that meet consumer needs;

facilitating effective competition and innovation in financial services;

actively shaping the FCA’s wider regulatory programme with the EU and the UK; and

building mutual confidence and respect between the FCA and the industry.

Mr Thoresen will say: “The insurance industry has been resilient through the crisis and continues to pay out over £190m a day to millions of customers.

“We have already worked hard to make improvements for customers - and we fully support the creation of the new FCA with a clear focus on consumers, giving the industry and regulator an opportunity to take stock on what can be done better.

“We face a new normal, with the challenges of an ageing population, a squeeze on household and public budgets, low interest rates and low growth.

“Insurance has always been about developing solutions for these challenges and the work of the new regulator must support us to continue to do this.”

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