ICS HotTopics

Hot Topics

Below is a flavour of some of our recent articles.
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27/07/20 HT2020-07 - Adequate financial resources - FCA finalised guidance

Following a consultation in 2019 (reported in Hot TopICS July 2019), the FCA has now published finalised guidance (FG20/1) setting out its expectations on how firms determine that they have adequate financial resources.  Although this new guidance does not place specific additional requirements on firms because of Covid-19, the FCA has pointed out that the pandemic underlines the need for all firms to have adequate resources in place and to assess how those needs may change in the future.

Financial adequacy is not just a matter of funding. It involves maintaining systems and controls, governance, leadership and a culture that reduces the risk of harm. This means firms can be in a much better position to put things right if they go wrong and to minimise the fallout should the business fail.


7/5/2020 HT 2020 - 05 COVID 19 – FCA Policy Developments

As part of the FCA’s continued efforts to support customers impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, the FCA has issued proposed guidance for insurance firms to ensure the fair treatment of customers. These apply to insurers and product manufacturers as well as brokers.

The proposed guidance covers 2 key areas:

  • Product Value – Ensuring products continue to offer value and are appropriate for customers taking into account the impact of coronavirus and firms’ ability to deliver the benefits promised.
  • Helping customers in financial difficulty – Ensuring products continue to offer value and are appropriate for customers taking into account the impact of coronavirus and firms’ ability to deliver the benefits promised.

This article considers the guidance in detail and outlines actions for insurance firms to consider in line with FCA recommendations.

30/4/2020 HT 2020 - 04 COVID 19 – Responsibilities for Training, Learning & CPD

Staff working from home, furloughed or taking unpaid leave means less opportunities for group learning in the workplace. However with the plethora of online resources available it is still possible to ensure staff have the opportunity to maintain their continuing professional development.

In this HT we consider the regulatory requirements for CPD in light of the Covid 19 pandemic and the options available to businesses wishing to ensure their staff still receive learning and development opportunities whilst not in the office.

31/03/2020 HT 2020 – 03 Regulation and the COVID-19 crisis

The FCA is ready to take any steps necessary to ensure customers are protected and markets continue to function well in the face of COVID-19.  Firms are expected to provide strong support and service to customers during this uncertain period while actively managing their liquidity and financial resilience. This article looks at what the pandemic might mean for insurance intermediary firms and their business continuity plans.

3/03/2020 HT 2020 – 02 New rules to Improve access to travel insurance for consumers with serious health conditions

New FCA rules will require firms offering retail travel insurance, including insurers, MGAs, intermediaries and appointed representatives, to signpost certain consumers with pre-existing medical conditions to a directory of specialist providers and to add details of the directory to their websites. This article looks at the new requirements and what they might mean for sellers of travel insurance.

24/01/2020 HT 2020 – 01 New Year Messages from the FCA warn GI firms on cultural and operational standards

The FCA has sent a ‘Dear CEO’ letter to Personal Lines and Commercial Lines insurers and firms with similar business models urging them to prioritise conduct and consumer outcomes. This is part of the regulator’s quest to improve culture and to ensure that customers’ best interests are served. Around the same time, wholesale intermediary firms received a ‘Dear CEO’ which said that ‘poor culture in financial services can lead directly to harm to consumers, market participants, employees and markets’. As the Senior Managers and Certification Regime beds in, firms need to take stock of the relevant cultural and operational issues.

18/12/2019 HT 2019 – 12 Whiplash reforms and the motor claims compensation landscape

A number of changes are in the pipeline aimed at capping the amounts claimants can get for whiplash injuries and reducing the incidence of exaggerated or fraudulent claims. This article looks at the reforms which the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) continues to work towards and what they might mean for the compensation landscape.

22/11/2019 HT 2019 – 11 SM&CR Conduct Rules

This article takes a closer look at the SM&CR Conduct Rules which come into effect on 9 December 2019. What steps can firms take to meet the new training and reporting requirements?

24/10/2019 HT 2019-10 General Insurance Pricing Practices – interim report suggests further regulatory intervention

Building on its determination to ensure customers receive good value, appropriate insurance products and fair treatment, the FCA has been carrying out a market study on general insurance pricing practices. We look at the interim report (MS18/1) recently published and the possible remedies being considered by the FCA.

26/09/2019 HT 2019-09 SM&CR – Considerations for Human Resources

This article looks from the Human Resources (HR) point of view at some of the changes that firms may need to make to meet the SM&CR requirements.

28/08/2019 HT 2019-08 Are you ready for the SM&CR?

The Senior Managers and Certification Regime will apply to insurance intermediaries and other solo-regulated firms from 9 December 2019, having been introduced for banking firms in 2016 and insurers in December 2018. This article follows the publication of Policy Statement (PS 19/20), which confirmed the final rules for the SM&CR, and looks further at some of the implications for insurance intermediaries.

24/07/19 HT 2019-07 Assessing adequate financial resources

The FCA has issued a consultation paper (CP19/20) which sets out  to provide more clarity over how it assesses the adequacy of a firm’s financial resources, the practices firms can adopt when assessing their resources and the role of adequate financial resources in minimising harm to consumers and markets. This article looks at how this affects UK general insurance intermediaries.