A review by the FSA, published on 3 December 2007, has found that firms are not doing enough to ensure that their ARs are treating customers fairly in the sale of general insurance. (Click here to read the FSA’s review) Four firms are now being considered for referral to enforcement, and follow-up visits are planned for early next year to eleven firms identified as needing significant remedial action to see that they have addressed the failings identified. The review, which has concentrated on smaller firms, has been conducted over the last few months and follows a similar project carried out in 2006.

Key concerns resulting from the review include:

  • firms' written procedures not being followed in practice;
  • too much reliance placed on the remote checking of client files as the sole method of monitoring ARs;
  • poor progress with Treating Customers Fairly with ineffective communication to ARs; and
  • not having appropriate management information or measures in place to test whether ARs are delivering outcomes effectively.

The FSA has also published an updated version of its factsheet "Your responsibility over appointed representatives” which you can click here to review.