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How our industry is regulated


The twin peak regulators

In 2013, the government implemented wide-ranging reforms to the way the financial services sector – including insurance – is regulated. The body which regulated the UK financial services industry, the Financial Services Authority (FSA), was replaced by two new regulatory bodies. This is known as the ‘twin peaks’ system of regulation:

  • The Prudential Regulatory Authority (PRA), which is part of the Bank of England, promotes the safety and soundness of insurers, and the protection of policyholders
  • The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regulates how these firms behave, as well as more broadly the integrity of the UK’s financial markets

The ABI is not a regulator, but we do seek to engage closely with both the PRA and FCA to ensure the UK has a regulatory framework that provides safety, stability and fairness for customers whilst also ensuring insurers are able to offer affordable products, to innovate, and to invest in the UK economy to help Britain thrive.

The ABI Prudential Regulation team focuses on a range of prudential and financial reporting issues of importance to our members, including Solvency II, international prudential regulatory developments, financial reporting standards and the regulatory environment for institutional investors.  

The ABI Conduct Regulation team focuses on a range of conduct policy issues of importance to our members. These include European initiatives such as the Insurance Distribution Directive (IDD) and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and UK based FCA initiatives in the General Insurance and Long Term Savings sectors, as well as its broader work across subjects such as consumer vulnerability, access to financial services and the UK financial advice regime.

Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is the UK’s independent authority set up to uphold information rights in the public interest, promoting openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals. Part of its role is to improve information rights practices by gathering and dealing with concerns raised by members of the public. It is also responsible for overseeing the May 2018 implementation of the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the UK.

There are a number of other bodies with responsibilities for the financial services sector to which the ABI also makes representations:

Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS)

If you have a complaint about the way you have been treated by a financial services firm, you should complain directly to the firm – through their formal complaints procedure – in the first instance. They are obliged by the FCA to respond to your formal complaint within eight weeks.

If you’re not happy with the outcome you can take your complaint to the FOS. The FOS is an independent body which aims to settle complaints between consumers and businesses providing financial services. There is no charge to the consumer for using this service.

  • find out more about how to complain on the FOS website

Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS)

The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) is the compensation scheme of last resort for customers of financial services firms. It is a body that is independent of government and the financial industry.

You may be entitled to compensation from the scheme if the firm cannot pay claims made against it. This depends on the type of business and the circumstances of the claim. There is no charge to the consumer for using this service.

Money Advice Service (MAS)

The Money Advice Service (MAS) is an independent body set up by government to help people make the most of their money. The MAS provides free, unbiased money advice to everyone across the UK. Its statutory objectives are to improve people's understanding and knowledge of financial matters (including the UK financial system) so that they can feel more confident in managing their own financial affairs.

Prudential Regulation

Conduct Regulation