Insurers lobby for extension to deadline

Insurers are lobbying the FSA to extend the July 2005 deadline for its reporting requirements.

More than 50% are finding the requirements too complex and will find it difficult to hit the timetable, according to a survey by consultants Aspective.

The survey of 60 companies shows nearly 50% are finding compliance with FSA policy statement PS 04/9 "significantly difficult" while 36% are not sure they can meet the July deadline.

Aspective business development director Andy Myers said: "A lot of people are talking about this but there are not enough companies acting on it.

"There is pressure on the FSA to change the deadline but there is no guarantee it will do that."
Aspective identifies the huge number of legacy systems run by most insurers as the main problem in meeting the deadline.
Myers said: "Most of the larger financial services companies have a plethora of different business systems of different ages.

"Collecting and integrating data from many different systems is generally regarded as a very difficult task."
PS 04/9 will require companies to submit quarterly returns in extensible business reporting language (XBRL), the system adopted by the Bank of England and, shortly, by the Inland Revenue.

Allianz Cornhill company secretary Chris Kiddle-Morris said: "The timescale involved will mean that a lot of systems work will need to be put in place, which is less than helpful, but we will be ready to report in July 2005."

Despite insurers' concern, the FSA denied it was looking at extending the July 2005 deadline.