Monday, 27 July 2009

Report of Insurance Industry Working Group

The Insurance Industry Working Group (IIWG) today published its report into the medium and long-term challenges facing the insurance industry

The group was set up in October 2008 to look at the challenges and opportunities facing the UK Insurance Industry. It is co-chaired by Chancellor of the Exchequer, Alistair Darling and Andrew Moss, Group Chief Executive of Aviva and includes leading figures from across the insurance sector. Its findings will be reported to the Chancellor's High-Level Group on City Competitiveness, which will meet later this year.

The report sets out a Vision for the UK insurance industry in 2020 as the leading global insurance centre with an unsurpassed reputation for excellence, a deep and constructive relationship with its customers and a close and effective partnership with Government.

The report recommends:

· Action from the insurance industry, Government and the FSA to increase customer confidence and trust through improving financial education and considering further steps to improve transparency, simplicity and access for consumers.

· A partnership between the insurance industry and Government to better manage risk in society and to explore options to increase savings and protection provision. For example Government and industry should consider sharing data and research findings that can help efforts to reduce the likely impact of different risks, such as flood risk and crime.

· Work to help consumers manage financial distress, building on the Government’s financial capability initiatives. The insurance industry should work with Government to assess the scope for a greater industry role, where it is commercially viable, such as helping people with the need for a retirement income and help with long term care.

· Encouraging capital flows into the UK insurance industry by ensuring its competitive position in the global marketplace is maintained and enhanced.

Alistair Darling said:
“The insurance industry is a vital part of the UK economy, employing around a third of all people who work in financial services and managing almost £1.5 trillion in assets. While the industry has fared well relative to other financial sectors in the face of the global financial crisis, it is facing the challenge of an increasingly competitive global market. I welcome the industry’s commitment to work in partnership with Government to improve confidence in insurance products, enhance financial capability and further build the competitiveness of this key British industry."

Andrew Moss said:
“The insurance industry makes a great contribution to the UK economy. Taking forward the recommendations in this report will create a stronger partnership between Government and the industry, which is essential to help people manage the risks of everyday life. There is a real desire for better customer engagement through greater financial education and awareness, improved accessibility and transparency of products and a need to attract capital to the UK insurance industry. Taking steps now will build customer confidence and deliver our vision to become the world’s leading insurance centre.”

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