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Mutual life offices&#39 corporate governance to be reviewed

Financial Secretary to the Treasury Ruth Kelly has commissioned two independent reviews as a consequence of the findings of the Penrose inquiry.

Paul Myners is to lead a review into the corporate governance arrangements applicable to mutual life offices, and will look at board accountability for mutual life offices and the level of regulation to which they are subject by the FSA, amongst other things.

Sir Derek Morris will lead a review of the actuarial profession, and Kelly has also requested that the Accounting Standards Board undertakes an urgent study into the accounting for with-profits business by life insurers.

Kelly said: “Although, as Lord Penrose himself points out, the problems at Equitable arose as a result of the particular circumstances in place during the inquiry period, the Report raises important questions for the governance of mutual life offices in general. The Government sees no reason in principle why boards of mutual life offices should not be as accountable to their members as those of comparable companies are to their shareholders.”

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