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Treasury, FCA and insurers meet in bid to ‘unblock’ LTC products

Care services minister Norman Lamb says there is “a lot of work to do” as insurers meet with the Treasury and FCA to overcome regulatory hurdles stopping the growth in long-term care products.

Speaking at a Demos event on long-term care today, Lamb said providers have made it clear there need to be changes to regulatory rules before they would look to launch new products. 

Lamb said meetings are ongoing between the Treasury, the FCA and insurers with cabinet minister Oliver Letwin holding the latest talks next week.

The Care Bill proposes a £72,000 lifetime cap on care costs with the aim that financial products will be developed alongside the cap. The Bill is moving into report stage in the House of Commons.

Lamb said: “We recognise there is a lot of work still to do engaging with both the Treasury and FCA. There are some issues that need to be unblocked in order to ensure we have the best possible conditions.”

When asked to elaborate on the specific issues by Money Marketing, Lamb declined but said there is a willingness to compromise.

He said: “I’m not going into the detail of all of the issues that remain. But it’s clear from discussions officials have had with financial services representatives that there are things they feel need to change from the Treasury and FCA.

“The impression I had after a recent discussion is that both Treasury and FCA are very much engaged in it.

“There is an absolute willingness on behalf of Government and those agencies to get it right, listen to concerns and seek to address them.”

Last month, the Association of British Insurers and the Government have signed a joint “statement of intent” to help people access regulated advice and a wider choice of financial products.

Lamb said the financial services industry wants Government action to promote financial advice and an awareness campaign over the reforms.

In an interview with Money Marketing last month, Lamb rejected calls for a bigger role for regulated advisers.

Former care minister Paul Burstow says there is the “spectre of a misselling scandal” around the reforms unless advice is boosted. 

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  1. The only meaningful demonstration of “an absolute willingness on behalf of Government and those agencies to get it right, listen to concerns and seek to address them” will be the facilitation of monthly premium insurance plans with tax relief on the premiums. Anything else is just hot air and won’t make the slightest difference.

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