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ABI set to adopt Saltr standards on with-profits

All ABI members may be forced to adhere to Saltr standards on with-profits disclosure under the latest proposals on annual with-profits statements.

The proposals, unveiled at an ABI with-profits workshop this week, may be introduced as either a code of best practice, a mandate for members or may be adopted by the FSA as part of new regulations following reviews of with-profits and disclosure.

The plans for annual statements follow the ABI working group&#39s activities on disclosure and emphasise giving policyholders more infor mation, using plain language and putting the most important information first.

The model yearly statements, which are based on the Saltr principles manual together with qualitative consumer research, in their current format omit the impact of charges on policies which drew concern from the FSA Consumer Panel.

Other proposals the ABI is likely to consider include whether an independent funds rating agency needs to be commissioned to rate with-profits funds separately from the financial strength of companies.

This would aim to help manage policyholders&#39 expectations and help prospective investors make their choice of product.

Raising Standards project director Stuart Tragheim says: “The feedback on proposals will be used a part of the ABI&#39s submission to the FSA of the with-profits review. Whether the FSA takes the proposals on board or whether the ABI makes the standards mandatory or a statement of best practice has not been decided.”

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