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Tiner proposes &#39more meaningful&#39 reporting by life offices

The FSA is considering forcing life offices to disclose more information to the public.

The Tiner project, which is headed by FSA managing director John Tiner, aims to overhaul insurance regulation. It has set out proposals to make life offices give a clearer picture of the real nature and underlying risks of their businesses.

Tiner says the current regime for reporting has become over-complex and voluminous. He claims it is difficult even for experts to understand the information included in life office reports.

The FSA wants to introduce a more streamlined reporting structure that is more frequent than once a year. The system would be designed to capture less raw data but provide more meaningful information.

Instead of focusing on the financial soundness of insurers, the new regime will look at their dealings with customers to give an idea of what products are being sold and to whom.

Life offices will have to provide more information on their operational risks and a better breakdown of their assets as well as more disclosure on their holdings in affiliated companies. Reinsurance arrangements will have to be explained in more detail.

The FSA hopes the new rules will enable it to be more proactive in its regulation and identify risks earlier on. The FSA plans to consult on its proposals later this year and wants the new arrangements in place by 2004.

Tiner says: “The current reporting regime has become over-complex and voluminous. There is too much focus on historic financial information in the returns. This will help us as regulator and also professional analysts, financial advisers and consumers to understand what is really going on.”

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