The FCA has just released a statement reminding insurance firms of the guidance that it published back in June, which set out its expectations for insurers and insurance intermediaries to consider the value of their products in light of the exceptional circumstances arising from the pandemic.
Last night the FCA announced that the Supreme Court had granted permission to appeal the High Court’s judgment in the business interruption (“BI”) insurance test case to all those who had applied for that permission.
Following successful trials, the Department of Work and Pensions (“DWP”) announced proposals last Wednesday to introduce a “Stronger Nudge” regime, as part of a package of measures aimed at helping savers make better-informed decisions when it comes to accessing their pension savings, and to further protect them from scams.
In another ruling on the issue of post-Lockdown claims under business interruption (BI) insurance policies, the High Court last week summarily dismissed an action brought by a London crêperie, holding that its reliance on its policy with Allianz Insurance plc (Allianz) could only be triggered by physical loss of property as opposed to merely temporary loss of use.
In a recent speech delivered at the City Financial Global event, Julia Hoggett (Director of Market Oversight at the FCA) set out the key risks created by operating in market conditions brought on by COVID-19, and the FCA’s expectation that markets remain clean “whatever the times and whatever the challenges“.
The High Court has decided that a series of reports prepared by the accountants Deloitte LLP (“Deloitte”) for Sports Direct International PLC (“Sports Direct”) (now known as Frasers Group Ltd) in relation to a proposed tax structure were not prepared for the sole or dominant purpose of litigation, and were therefore not protected from disclosure by litigation privilege.
The latest instalment of the Financial Conduct Authority’s (“FCA“) test case on business interruption (BI) insurance took place last Friday, with a “consequentials” hearing that dealt with the effect of the judgment, ‘leapfrog’ certificates and an application from a proposed new party.
HM Treasury has responded to a letter from The Association of British Insurers (ABI), confirming the Government’s firm expectation that “grant funds intended to provide emergency support to businesses at this time of crisis are not to be deducted from business interruption insurance claims.”
The ABI’s Letter
Huw Edwards, Director General of the ABI, wrote to John Glen, Economic Secretary to HM Treasury, last week regarding the issue of insurers deducting certain government grants from COVID-19 claims payments.
Mr Edwards’ letter confirmed that 12 insurance firms (including Avivia, Zurich, and RSA, among others) have agreed not to deduct the Coronavirus Small Business Grant Fund; the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund; the Local Authority Discretionary Grant Fund (and their equivalents in devolved nations) from any COVID-19 claims payments. Where such deductions have already been made, the firm concerned will adjust the settlement amounts accordingly.
Mr Edwards also detailed further actions the insurance industry is taking to help businesses recover from the effects of COVID-19, including continuing to process claims worth around £1.8 billion and setting up an £84m COVID-19 Support Fund to help communities and charities who have had their funding hit by lockdown.
The Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA“) has just responded to the recent High Court judgement in the Business Interruption (“BI”) test case with a “Dear CEO” letter, which sets out the steps insurers must take over the coming weeks and months.
According to XPS, the pensions consultancy firm, in July and August of this year 51% of pension transfers, equating to twenty five million pounds in pension savings, were flagged as at risk of a pension scam.