Panel turns spotlight on insurance and retirement

15 June 2012

The Financial Services Consumer Panel is to turn its spotlight on insurance and retirement in the coming year. The Panel has today published its annual report for 2011/12 and set out its future objectives.

Consumer behaviour in the general insurance market has changed in recent years in response to greater competition encouraged by the development of comparison websites. The Panel wants to know more about the consequences of this change and how the market can deliver better outcomes for consumers. The Panel also wants to understand the issues that have an impact on consumers' income levels in retirement in order to highlight the risks and challenges that they face and influence the debate on better regulation.

Adam Phillips, Consumer Panel Chair commented:

"Consumers need adequate and effective insurance products to protect their homes and families. With the intense focus on cost that has been made possible by comparison websites and the lack of agreed minimum product standards, we are concerned about the impact of price competition on the suitability of policies and overall value for money.

"Hard working consumers rely on pension and retirement products to secure their wellbeing in retirement. The demise of final pay related pension schemes is forcing people to take more personal responsibility for their retirement income. The complex regulatory landscape around decumulation does not make this easy. It is something which the Panel wishes to examine in more detail. We will be looking at access to advice, product choice, competition and pricing in the pensions and retirement products sector."


Notes to editors

  1. The Consumer Panel annual report.
  2. The Consumer Panel's key priorities for 2012/13 include:
    • Poor practices in general insurance;
    • Decumulation;
    • The shape of future financial services regulation;
    • The future effectives of the FCA as a conduct regulator;
    • Effective consumer representation at EU level; and
    • Consumer Credit Regulation.
  3. The Consumer Panel is a statutory body under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 and was initially established by the Financial Services Authority in December 1998. The Panel advises the FSA on the interests and concerns of consumers and reports on the FSA's performance in meeting its objectives.
  4. The emphasis of the Panel's work is on activities that are regulated by the FSA, although it may also look at the impact on consumers of activities outside but related to the FSA's remit. More information about the Panel's work is available on our website.
  5. Photographs and biographical details for Adam Phillips.
  6. Panel members are appointed to serve a maximum of two terms of three years.