On 14 March 2018, the FCA published an exchange of letters between itself and the Association of British Insurers (ABI) about the UK’s withdrawal from the EU and what this means for insurers’ customer communications.
The Director General of the ABI, Huw Evans, wrote to the Chief Executive Officer of the FCA, Andrew Bailey, on 12 March 2018, asking for the FCA's views on the appropriate approach that ABI members should take when communicating with their customers where new insurance contracts and renewals over the next months will still be in force after the Article 50 period ends.
Mr Bailey replied to Mr Evans on 13 March 2018. Among other things, he said that:
- with regard to inbound passporting firms: in the event that HM Treasury brings forward contingent legislation on temporary permission, the FCA would expect firms solely regulated in the UK by the FCA to notify the FCA before exit day of their desire to benefit from the regime. This notification would not require the submission of an application for authorisation before exit day;
- with regard to changes to how cover for customers travelling in the UK may operate in the future: firms need to consider what impact withdrawal from the EU may have on their own customers and the operation of contracts they offer. In relation to withdrawal from the EU, firms will need to keep under review what, if anything, needs to be brought to customers' attention when buying or renewing a policy. Where changes to how policies operate are dependent on the final legal agreement reached by the UK and EU, firms may wish to provide this information in good time, once it is available. Where the information is not currently available firms may wish to do this separately to new business and renewal communications. When reviewing firms' communications to customers in the future, the FCA will take into account the situation that exists at the time the statement is made, including any uncertainty over the final agreement between the UK and EU;
- with regard to outboard passporting firms: firms should continue to make appropriate arrangements to service their clients in the EU and engage with their local EU regulatory authority for guidance.