FCA confirms SM&CR Rules

A Policy Statement has been published by the FCA confirming the rules relevant to all SM&CR firms. The rules come into effect for insurance intermediaries and other solo-regulated firms on 9 December 2019. There are some changes intended to provide extra clarity in some areas and help firms adjust to the SM&CR. The Statement also includes final rules on the new Directory of individuals working in financial services.

 

Rules to help consumers with medical conditions access suitable travel insurance – FCA 15 July 2019

The FCA has launched a consultation paper on proposals designed to help consumers with pre-existing medical conditions (PEMCs) have better access to travel insurance products. The consultation is seeking views on introducing a new ‘signposting’ rule, to provide consumers with details of a directory of travel insurance firms that have the appetite and capability to cover consumers with more serious PEMCs.

 

New chair of the Smaller Business Practitioner Panel

Charles Randell, Chair of the Financial Conduct Authority, has announced the appointment of Marlene Shiels, Chief Executive of Capital Credit Union, as Chair of the FCA’s Smaller Business Practitioner Panel from 1 October 2019. She has been a member of the Panel since 2015 and succeeds Craig Errington, Group Chief Executive of Wesleyan. The FCA Smaller Business Practitioner Panel is an independent statutory body that represents the interests of practitioners of firms of small or medium size within their sector across FCA-regulated activities. Panel members are recruited to represent both their own sector and the industry as a whole, rather than individual firms.

 

Detected insurance fraud figures released by the ABI

The total number of fraudulent claims and applications detected in 2018 was 469,000, up by 3% on 2017, with their value up 6%. Every day, 1,300 insurance scams are uncovered, with the average con of £12,000. For example, a retired fridge engineer dropped his claim for hearing loss caused by his work, when it emerged that he was a frontman in a rock ’n’ roll band. Claim documents denied that he had any noisy hobbies……!

 

New platform to replace Gabriel

The FCA is working towards an easy-to-use system enabling firms to submit data in a way that is efficient and through a system and approach that can be adapted to changing needs. Early changes to the platform will be technology focused, so initially there will be no change to the way firms provide data, but more significant improvements will be made in the future.

 

Guidance consultation on the fair treatment of vulnerable customers

The FCA is consulting on guidance regarding the fair treatment of vulnerable customers. This is to provide clarity for firms involved in the supply of products or services to retail customers who are actually, or are potentially, vulnerable. The proposed new guidance sets out the FCA’s view of what the FCA Principles require of firms to ensure that vulnerable consumers are treated fairly consistently.

 

FOS publishes latest complaints figures

In the first three months of the 2019-2020 financial year, the FOS received 136,681 new enquiries and 70,304 new complaints – with 12,538 complaints passed to an ombudsman for a final decision. On average, 30% of the complaints were upheld. PPI continued to be the most complained about product and there have been a high number of consumer credit complaints (particularly about high-cost credit). For the first time, the data includes complaints received about claims management companies (CMCs), since becoming responsible for complaints about CMCs in April 2019.