The FCA announces outcome of investigation into 4 life insurance companies

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has today announced that its remaining investigations into firms, following its thematic review into the fair treatment of longstanding customers in the life insurance sector, have each been closed.

The FCA launched the investigation following a thematic review, published on 3 March 2016. This identified further work was required to determine whether 6 of the 11 firms that were involved in the thematic review had failed to meet our standards. These 6 firms were Abbey Life, Countrywide Assured, Old Mutual, Police Mutual, Prudential and Scottish Widows.

The investigations into Police Mutual and Scottish Widows were closed earlier without further action.

All of the remaining investigations have now been closed. The FCA found the conduct of the 4 remaining firms (Abbey Life, Old Mutual, Prudential and Countrywide Assured) did not warrant enforcement action. In each firm, some issues have been identified during the investigations, which are being addressed as part of our ongoing supervision of those firms.

The FCA published its Final Guidance publication in December 2016. This sets out the expectations on how life insurance firms treat their closed-book customers fairly, including when disclosing the existence of paid-up and exit charges to existing customers.   

The FCA will continue to assess life insurance firms’ adherence to the required standards and Principles, and take appropriate steps where necessary.

Notes to editors

  1. On 1 April 2013, the FCA became responsible for the conduct supervision of all regulated financial firms and the prudential supervision of those not supervised by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA).
  2. The FCA has an overarching strategic objective of ensuring the relevant markets function well. To support this, it has three operational objectives: to secure an appropriate degree of protection for consumers; to protect and enhance the integrity of the UK financial system; and to promote effective competition in the interests of consumers.
  3. Find out more information about the FCA.