The UK insurance industry ‘can have an even brighter future’ with the correct support, says shadow economic secretary to the treasury

The Labour Party is committed to “streamlining the regulatory burden for the insurance sector”, according to Tulip Siddiq, shadow economic secretary to the treasury. 

Speaking at the ABI Conference in London, Siddiq said that ”with the right support, [the UK insurance industry] can have an even brighter future”. 

However, she noted: ”This calls not just for a change in government, but a change in mindsets and a government prepared to work in partnership with business to remove the barriers to economic success.

”[Labour] are committed to streamlining the regulatory burden on the insurance sector that can obstruct competitiveness and growth.” 

Siddiq explained that a potential Labour government recognised the historic importance of the insurance sector to the British economy and was “proud that the UK continues to be one of the biggest players in the global insurance industry to this day”. 

Active partnership

In her speech, Siddiq set out the key tenets of a proposed “active partnership” between a potential Labour government and the financial services sector. 

She explained that a Labour government had committed to working with the FCA to “identify outdated and prescriptive rules that have been made redundant to give firms more freedom to innovate and grow”. 

As part of this, she said that her party would establish a new regulatory innovation office to improve accountability and transparency for the industry’s regulator, which would also include ”measuring financial services regulators’ performance against a secondary objective on growth and competitiveness”.

Siddiq also indicated her support for the current government’s Solvency II reforms, which her Conservative counterpart had praised earlier in the day

However, she noted that “regulatory reform will only get us so far”, adding that “to fully realise the benefits of UK Solvency reforms, a future Labour government would smash down the blockers to investments”. 

Financial inclusion

As well as registering her support for regulatory reform, Siddiq said that moves towards financial inclusion in the insurance sector, such as tackling the “poverty premium” and buildings and contents insurance, would be a “central part of Labour’s national financial inclusion strategy”. 

She said she supported an ABI initiative to combat rising motor premiums that was announced at yesterday’s conference, adding that a “two-way partnership” between industry and government was essential to tackling these issues. 

“I look forward to working with [the insurance] sector to ensure that everyone is able to access services that they desperately need,” she added.