Insurers urge FSA to ease new rules start

INSURERS have warned the UK’s finance regulator that the industry is unimpressed with the confusion around the start of far-reaching new regulation on their capital requirements.

The Financial Services Authority has weathered an angry backlash from the industry since October when it said it would delay the start of new Solvency II rules by a year until January 2014.

Insurers said the change would force them to comply with two different sets of reporting rules – Solvency II and the Individual Capital Assessment (ICAS) – at the same time.

Otto Thoresen, director-general of the Association of British Insurers (ABI), told an FSA briefing last week that the regulator needed to avoid that situation “at all cost”.

“ABI members do not welcome the delay in Solvency II’s implementation,” he said. “We must provide firms with viable alternatives.”

The FSA’s director of insurance, Julian Adams, defended the change.

“What it is emphatically not is a wholesale delay in the implementation date,” he said.

“Our intention is to explore with firms possible ways of avoiding the costs associated with the dual running of an ICAS and Solvency II model.”