Move hailed as important achievement in principles-based regulation

The ifs School of Finance today welcomed the FSA’s publication of the new Insurance Conduct of Business sourcebook (ICOBS) which sets out the standards and requirements for general insurance firms on how they deal with their customers.

Mark Roberts, Head of Financial regulation at the ifs School of Finance said: “The new ICOB has simplified the FSA’s general insurance rules which is obviously good news for the industry and for the consumer.

The FSA have very clearly acknowledged that outcomes for consumers in general insurance are generally very good but additional safeguards have been added where they are needed – the right balance therefore appears to have been struck.”

Dan Waters, FSA Director of Retail Policy and Themes, added: "ICOB is another important achievement in more principles-based regulation. We have greatly simplified our rules in areas of general insurance markets where outcomes for consumers are generally good. In a few areas, however, like payment protection insurance (PPI), we have responded to continuing market failures and consumer detriment by introducing carefully targeted rules to help ensure that consumers achieve a fair deal."

The new general insurance regime will come into effect on 6 January 2008 with firms being allowed a six month transitional period for implementation. All firms are expected to meet the required standards by 6 July 2008.