Of Special Interest

1st June 2014

Newslink Opinion: Weekly Insurance Global Analysis

This week, regulatory issues were to the fore. The Prudential Regulatory Authority(PRA) issued two consultation papers on subordinated guarantees/quality of capital, and valuation risk, The Financial Conduct Authority(FCA) expressed its concern regarding potential conflicts of interest with brokers servicing SME's, and its head, Martin Wheatley, spoke at a London conference on issues post-Retail Distribution Review(RDR) over guidance and advice for investment products, suggesting automation could play an important part. Kinetic Partners looked at the rising cost and widening role of regulators, and Fitch reviewed regulatory trends following the Bank of England governor's comments on the insurance market last week.
KPMG highlighted in a survey that UK insurers need to improve personal interaction with customers, and launched a virtual R&D Centre for data and analytics solutions and services. EDM surveyed claims handling in the UK. Xchanging introduced Xuber Rating in collaboration with Moore Stephens, and Zurich is to widen the use of Accenture Duck Creek software in the UK. Bolt Solutions and AssureStart are to partner to focus on small US businesses.
The Association of British Insurers(ABI) announced that the value of uncovered insurance fraud rose by 18% last year, Fitch Ratings predicted moderate El Nino conditions for the rest of the year, and Standard & Poor's said that risks had abated for global insurers.
Ageas is to acquire its Non-Life joint venture partner's stake in Portugal, Allied World extended its Asia Pacific presence by opening in Sydney, and Suncorp is to write down the value of its life book by AD500m. MAPFRE counterparty credit ratings were raised by Standard & Poor's. Willis is to acquire a controlling stake in Sweden-based Max Matthiessen, and finalised the purchase of Charles Monet after receiving regulatory approval in Singapore.
Hastings Insurance Group and Vienna Insurance Group reported first quarter financials and the three top Japanese insurers turned in varying levels of profit for the fiscal year to 31st March.
Articles on the above topics are included in those added to the Insurance Newslink and Financial Newslink global database service on Wednesday and today at www.onlystrategic.com