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Insurance Industry Regulation

Volume 708: debated on Tuesday 1 February 2022

6. What recent discussions he has had with the Financial Conduct Authority on the regulation of the insurance industry. (905376)

I hold regular discussions, usually on a six-weekly basis, with the chief executive of the Financial Conduct Authority on a range of issues regarding the regulation of financial markets, including the insurance market.

Insurance companies are exploiting the cladding scandal by charging leaseholders extortionate, punitive and unethical prices for their buildings insurance. The Treasury and the FCA have frankly done nothing while people are forced to find eye-watering sums of money because of a scandal that they did not cause, and there is no transparency as to how their premiums are being calculated. After many years, a Government Minister has finally written to the FCA, but will the Treasury now step up and ensure that the FCA not only looks into this matter but provides redress for my constituents and the thousands of people across this country who are experiencing severe financial distress?

The FCA has been looking at this matter, and last week my colleague the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities wrote to the FCA to ask it to look at whether there is a market failure. Since then, it has written back, with the Competition and Markets Authority, to say that they are engaging with the industry and will produce a statement on the matter in due course. I recognise the concerns that the hon. Member has raised and the dysfunctionality that may exist in the market, and it is important that that is looked at carefully.

Reform of Solvency II could unlock billions to create jobs, enhance prosperity and help to raise living standards. May I ask the Government to make some progress on this?

We are making progress. We are in deep conversations with the Prudential Regulation Authority and its actuaries on the way that the risk margin and the matching adjustments should be altered to release that additional capital. We are confident that progress will be made and we are also working closely with the insurance industry to see that that comes to pass.