The European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) has launched a pan-European thematic review of market conduct in the unit-linked life insurance sector.

EIOPA hopes the review will cover at least 60% of each national market, in gross written premium and unit-linked fund asset terms.

EIOPA is looking for potential sources of consumer detriment, which flow from the relationship between insurers and asset managers.

The review will focus on:

  • money incentives and remuneration;
  • how insurers address conflicts of interest; and
  • how insurers structure unit-linked life policies.

Participating insurers will be asked to submit their contributions by September 2016; and EIOPA’s thematic review report will be published in early 2017.

Sometimes, EIOPA will carry out a review and reach the conclusion that regulatory intervention is not required – but this is relatively rare. Intervention of some kind may therefore be on the cards, at a pan-European level, or by the UK’s FCA, if it believes that local intervention is necessary or desirable when it sees the UK-insurer responses, and EIOPA’s analysis of the results.