The Financial Services Authority (FSA) will be keeping a closer eye on insurance companies under new proposals.

Insurers will have to report more frequently to the regulator, in a move to scrap the traditionally complicated annual returns.

FSA managing director John Tiner said: "The current reporting regime for both life and non-life insurers has become over-complex and voluminous.

"There is too much focus on historic financial information in the returns and it is difficult even for the experts users to understand."

He said the regulator was looking to promote a more streamlined approach to reporting financial data, which would be more than once a year.

"It would capture less raw data, but more and better quality information on a wide range of relevant areas," Tiner said.

This information would also aim to cover companies' dealings with their customers. It would also aim to give the regulator a greater understanding of who the companies sell to and how they sell products, rather than focusing on their financial soundness.