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Corporate insurance and financial services

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Claims handling review could lead to past business reviews

29 May 2015

The FCA's report on its thematic review into claims handling in the SME market highlights shortcomings but with reassuringly little sabre rattling.

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FCA finds shortcomings in premium finance services to insurance market

14 May 2015

The FCA published earlier this week its thematic review report on the provision of premium finance to retail general insurance customers.

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Diverted Profit Tax - captive insurers

08 May 2015

Following on from our earlier blog, the HMRC has published interim draft guidance which expands on how the Diverted Profit Tax (DPT) may apply to insurance arrangements, including a number of sector-specific scenarios.

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Budget 2015 - impact on insurance

20 March 2015

George Osborne's announcement on Wednesday set out at least two areas of potential impact for the insurance industry.

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FCA prepares for Consumer Rights Act

Published on 13 March 2015. By Andrew Price, Senior Associate

The FCA last week removed much of its unfair contract terms guidance and a number of undertakings (mainly relating to the mortgage and investment sectors) from its unfair contract terms library, citing the need to update them in light of, amongst other things, the unfair contract terms provisions in the Consumer Rights Bill and the CMA's 2015 guidance consultation on those provisions.

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Senior insurance managers regime – proposals for NEDs

Published on 27 February 2015. By Jonathan Charwat, Senior Associate

Last year, we reported on proposals for a new senior insurance managers' regime ('Senior insurance managers - all change!').

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UK VAT changes following Skandia decision

Published on 12 February 2015. By Ben Roberts, Partner

On Tuesday this week, HMRC confirmed a change to the UK VAT treatment of intra-entity supplies of services, from 1 January 2016.

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Portfolio Transfers in 2015 - PRA Update

23 January 2015

On Wednesday, the PRA set out its approach to Part VII transfers for insurance business for the rest of 2015.

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Annual insurance review

Published on 16 January 2015. By James Mee, Partner

I am happy to inaugurate the Corporate Insurance Hub for 2015 with RPC's annual round-up of the key legal developments in 2014. I trust you find this useful, and we look forward to keeping you informed throughout the year.

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Senior insurer managers – all change!

16 December 2014

The Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) has recently announced proposals for a new regime for "senior insurance managers", designed to reflect Solvency II governance requirements.

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Ensuring the end of terror?

04 December 2014

Last week, the Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill was published, so providing the detail behind Theresa May's bid to outlaw insurers from indemnifying ransom payments to terrorists.

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Broker M&A –how far does your indemnity go?

Published on 28 November 2014. By Jonathan Charwat, Senior Associate

A recent case in the High Court has demonstrated how a court may construe a contractual indemnity in the context of broker M&A.

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In the Garden without Pay

10 November 2014

Sunrise Brokers LLP v Rodgers is the salutary tale of a broker who gambled in his decision to leave his employer for a competitor.

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Limits on the VAT exemption for insurance intermediaries

Published on 06 November 2014. By Ben Roberts, Partner

A recent Tax Tribunal decision highlights the limits of the VAT exemption for supplies by an insurance intermediary.

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Insurance contract law reform – a reinsurance angle

Published on 04 November 2014. By Richard Breavington, Partner

In Spring 2015, the Insurance Bill, which applies to business insurance and thereby reinsurance, is likely to be given royal assent.

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Root and branch changes to EU VAT rules on intra-entity supplies?

Published on 25 September 2014. By Ben Roberts, Partner

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) last week ruled that services provided by a US insurer to its Swedish branch were subject to VAT in Sweden. This widely reported decision is likely to have implications for insurers and other financial services groups across Europe.

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CMA brings car competition probe to conclusion

25 September 2014

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) – the UK's leading consumer and competition authority – yesterday published measures which it expects will increase competition and reduce premiums in the car insurance market.

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Good or bad news on the flood insurance front?

11 September 2014

Increasingly severe flood events, climate change, new housing in flood plains, inadequate government spending on flood defences – these all point to increasing risk of flooding for more and more properties.

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Dividends under Solvency II

11 September 2014

As you will be aware, Solvency II will impose requirements as to the quality of the capital held by a firm. Core tier 1 capital is the best, and will typically be made up by ordinary share capital.

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FCA fines general insurer £8.4m for TCF and Conduct Risk failings

Published on 11 August 2014. By Andrew Price, Senior Associate

The FCA's latest enforcement action in the general insurance sector is a useful source of conduct risk guidance and a reminder that firms cannot delegate their regulatory responsibilities to outsourced service providers, not even to those that are themselves FCA authorised.

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Transfer of corporate profits – update

Published on 04 August 2014. By Ben Roberts, Partner

Earlier in the year I posted a blog on the proposed new anti-avoidance measure, targeted at so-called "profit transfers" from one group company to another.

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ABI proposals on home and motor insurance renewal pricing

16 July 2014

The ABI has recently announced that it has written to the FCA setting out its proposals to improve transparency and clarity for customers when renewing their motor and home insurance policies.

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Hong Kong: broker commission – proposed rules of conduct

Published on 10 July 2014. By David Smyth, Senior Consultant

A key provision of the Insurance Companies (Amendment) Bill 2014 is the formation of an independent Insurance Authority (IA) to take over from the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance.

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Know your regulator

27 June 2014

The importance of good relations with regulators has never been more important.

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New anti-avoidance rule targeting transfers of corporate profits

Published on 10 June 2014. By Ben Roberts, Partner

This year's Finance Bill, which is expected to become law as the Finance Act 2014 in July, introduces a new anti-avoidance measure targeted at businesses operating through a group structure where there is in substance a significant "payment" of profits from one company to another.

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The PRA's Stance on Solvent Schemes of Arrangement & Omnibus II

03 June 2014

The Omnibus II directive, which amends the text of the Level 1 Solvency II directive, was finally agreed in March 2014.

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FCA findings on conflicts management in the commercial SME sector: encouraging, but only the start?

27 May 2014

The most surprising thing about today's FCA report on its conflicts of interest review in commercial insurance is the number of SMEs who arrange insurance through an intermediary.

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Broker conflicts: thematic review– what can we expect?

Published on 22 May 2014. By Andrew Price, Senior Associate

The FCA will on 27 May 2014 be publishing its findings from its thematic review of broker conflicts of interest and remuneration in the UK SME general insurance sector. We will report on the review as soon as possible after publication.

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Product trade mark registrations on the up as firms fight back from the bottom of the financial crisis

09 May 2014

As the sector fights back from the financial crisis, firms are starting to launch new products, investing heavily in intellectual property protections and differentiating their products through branding.

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New Regulators' Code

02 May 2014

As my colleague Sam Bishop has commented on our Financial Services Blog, the new Regulators' Code imposed by the government in April may have a marked impact on the direction of the FCA and PRA's regulatory approach, and in particular on the importance of economic growth.

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FCA 'game changer' set to discipline add-on markets

08 April 2014

The FCA has published its third Occasional Paper describing the new experimental approach it took in its add-ons market study, where for the first time it used behavioural economics to assess how selling insurance as an add-on affects consumer decisions. This raises key implications for insurers.

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FCA Business Plan 2014/15 and what it means for the general insurance market

01 April 2014

Fewer than 8 lines into the FCA's Business Plan for 2014/15, Martin Wheatley reminds us of just some of the regulator's work over the past year. Interest only mortgages, add on insurance, introductory rates of interest on accounts. He goes on to say "there must be no let up to the pace of our activities for 2014/15."

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A continuation on a thematic review: insurance broker fined for ABC systems failings

25 March 2014

Such is the seeming regularity with which insurance brokers face censure from the FCA for failings in their anti-bribery and corruption systems and controls that the £315,000 fine dished out to Besso Limited this week may not be considered by some as blog-worthy (particularly when that blog is introduced with such an awful pun).

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FCA's first market study finds little value-add in uncompetitive insurance add-ons market

12 March 2014

The FCA is proposing to make dramatic changes to the £1 billion insurance add-ons market in order to protect consumers, according to its market study report released yesterday.

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Scottish integration?

07 March 2014

In December we commented on the regulatory position of Scottish insurers post-independence (should this come to pass).

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TTIP of the iceberg - EU/US trade negotiations

06 March 2014

How will the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) - currently being negotiated between the EU and the US - impact on the insurance market?

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Top tips - internal investigations

03 March 2014

The ability to conduct and manage an internal investigation in a way which is proportionate to the issue which has arisen as well as timely and cost effective is a skill not to be under-estimated.

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The Principle of Fundamental Rule

21 February 2014

God ordered the world with 10 commandments, the FSA thought it would take 11 Principles and, perhaps in a statement of its omnipotence, the PRA has taken on the challenge with just 9 "Fundamental Rules".

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Basel III – insurance as a risk mitigant?

Published on 17 February 2014. By Oliver Knox, Senior Associate

RPC's banking team recently attended the Loan Market Association's (LMA's) seminar on "Mitigating Risk – Insurance as a Risk Mitigant" which focussed on whether insurance could be used by banks for the purpose of securing capital relief under Basel III.

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Consumer credit reform – impact for insurers and brokers

10 February 2014

From 1 April 2014, the FCA will take over responsibility from the OFT for the policing of the UK consumer credit industry.

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Welcome to the Corporate Insurance Hub

Published on 29 January 2014. By James Mee, Partner

Here you'll find commentary on the latest developments in the Insurance industry, whether it's consolidation in the market, new legislation or landmark court decisions.

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Complaints-led regulation of general insurance – FOS' increasing role

06 January 2014

The nature of annual insurance policies makes the GI market ripe for complaints-led regulation.

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Scottish Independence?

10 December 2013

The Scottish National Party (SNP) has formally issued its proposals for an independent Scotland.

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Financial Transaction Tax – still a cause for concern?

Published on 10 December 2013. By Ben Roberts, Partner

The FTT was due to take effect from 1 January 2014. In June the European Commission quietly announced a delay of at least 6 months.

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Solvency II – the Phoney War

11 November 2013

The Guidelines on Governance released by EIOPA on 27 September 2013 set out EIOPA's view on what insurers should be doing in advance of (and in preparation for) the implementation of Solvency II.

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Handbook suffers from CIDRA hangover

10 October 2013

Whilst FOS rightly considered itself ahead of the consumer insurance law reforms, the FCA has now caught up.

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The FCA – a "very different animal", that bites harder

23 July 2013

Two notable recent fines, £2.8m levied against Policy Administration Services for poor complaints handling in relation to mobile phone insurance and £7.38m levied against Swinton for aggressive selling of add-on insurance, have a key common feature.

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