• The FSA's timetable for its review into with-profits business is split into five initial discussi...
• The FSA's timetable for its review into with-profits business is split into five initial discussion papers culminating in a final report to be published in March 2002. It is not the only review being undertaken into with-profits as it is something that Sandler and the ABI are both working on.
• By the end of September the FSA will publish the first discussion paper on the handling of inherited estates, otherwise known as orphan assets. It will look at the issue of the transparency of and the process of attribution of ownership of orphan assets.
• The second and third papers will be published in October. The second will focus on transparency, looking at communications with customers, which links to the wider FSA project on plain language in the financial services industry. This includes the use of words such as 'bonus' and 'reversionary bonus.'
• The third discussion paper will focus on disclosure and reporting to investors. It will look at what should be included in annual statements to investors and disclosure at point of sale. The aim is to create an environment where people understand what they are buying at point of sale and have better access to information throughout the policy term.
• The fourth paper will focus on fair contract terms and whether they are too far skewed towards product providers. The paper, which will attempt to identify unfair contract term practices, will be published in November.
• The fifth paper will look at the role of actuaries and the role of with-profits providers' executive boards. This paper comes under the general heading of governance and discretion.
• The process will conclude in the spring next year when a final report will be published. If the recommendations require a change of law to bring them into effect, the findings will be referred to the Treasury. Any changes to the regulatory climate for with-profits business will be dealt with by the FSA, but will require a full consultation procedure before any changes could be instituted.
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