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Insurance expertise required

The Association of British Insurers wants the Financial Policy Committee to have a statutory obligation to have at least one member with insurance industry experience.

Under proposals in the draft Financial Services Bill, the FPC will be chaired by the governor of the Bank of England along with three BoE deputy governors, two BoE executive directors, the Financial Conduct Authority chief executive and four external members.

No external member of the interim FPC, in place to lay the groundwork for the committee proper ahead of its 2013 start date, has insurance industry experience.

Giving evidence to the committee scrutinising the bill last week, ABI director of prudential policy Hugh Savill said: “We would like it said on the face of the bill that there should be somebody on the FPC who has specific insurance expertise.”

He told the committee that insurers do not pose the same risk to financial stability as banks and he expects the committee to spend most of its time focusing on banking issues.

Savill added: “If an insurance issue turns up, it is important there is somebody on the committee or at the top of the PRA who understands insurance issues.”

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