Phoenix Group Holdings chief executive Clive Bannister has waded in on the row over the FCA’s handling of its review into closed book policies, describing the incident as a “self-inflicted wound”.
In an interview with the Daily Telegraph, Bannister was critical over the briefing to the newspaper which prompted insurers’ shares to plummet last month over fears of a review into closed book policies which could see exit charges scrapped.
Closed book provider Phoenix has about six million policies, and saw its shares fall 23 per cent on the day of the report, ahead of the FCA issuing a clarification about the scope of the review.
Bannister has not joined calls for FCA chief executive Martin Wheatley to resign over the issue.
He told the newspaper: “This shouldn’t be about individuals. It is much more about how a regulator works with an industry and the rules that apply to us should apply to them.
“This is not an adversarial competition. That is not the way to operate an industry because we want to attract capital to protect people’s retirement, and capital is attracted where there is stability and predictability of returns. Anything that diminishes that does not help a regulator and does not help us as operators. I think it was a bit of a self-inflicted wound.”
Last week the FCA appointed Clifford Chance senior commercial litigation partner Simon Davis to carry out an independent inquiry into the way the regulator handled the announcement.