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Latin lessons

How considerate of Sir Howard Davies to start communicating to the public in Latin. This can only clarify even further the already simple, transparent and market-friendly utterances of the FSA over the recent past.

My only misgiving is that maybe he has got it wrong. From my legal and insurance studies (albeit many years ago, when Latin was the language of the masses) caveat emptor was a long-established principle of common law relating to the sale of goods. Never, I think, was it consolidated into statute but wiser folk may put me right.

The CII taught us that basic principles of insurance were not subject to caveat emptor but to the well known doctrine of uberrima fides – utmost good faith – a phrase instantly recognisable as describing the way in which insurers have always behaved towards their clients. Hopefully, all future financial advertising, illustrations, policy conditions and key features documents will be in Latin as this can only enhance public understanding of the industry and close the savings gap.

To Sir Howard, I can only recall the words of that famous Latin scholar, the latest candidate for the governorship of California: “Hasta la vista, baby.”

Derek Forbes

Orford, Suffolk


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