ailo's anti-money laundering initiative should make life easier for providers and advisers as well as help the reputation of the industry
We have seen a lot of consolidation in the international life insurance industry over the past two years, driven by a period of difficult investment markets and substantial regulatory change.
The industry has had to adapt to these changes. In the international market, the stronger providers have survived. Last year saw most of the larger groups increase business significantly after several difficult years. Nowhere has this been more evident in the with-profits market, where strong funds, such as our own at Norwich Union, have continued to attract strong inflows of business from the international market place, while others have been closed to new business.
I believe the diverse nature and complexity of the international life industry means that it needs industry leadership now more than ever, and I would encourage all international life offices to actively support AILO as our industry body. It is important to us all that our industry is seen as capable of acting to ensure the highest standards of professionalism and integrity in our markets.
In this respect, Norwich Union International is fully committed to supporting the work of the Association of International Life Offices (AILO). AILO has done a lot to further the cause of professionalism and high standards.
Norwich Union International was pleased to support fully AILO's anti-money laundering initiative. Through AILO, we have all worked hard to ensure that the industry adopts a set of good practice standards to prevent money laundering in our industry. AILO members who endorse these good practice guidelines will be applying a consistent approach to the issue, safe in the knowledge that they are applying industry endorsed standards, and averting the danger of inadvertently competing with each other by requesting different information to fulfil a regulatory requirement.
The industry's consistent approach means the anti-money laundering process is now a lot simpler and easier to manage. There is less paperwork. Questions on each provider's application forms are standardised leading to a consistent new business process, smoothing the process at the provider's new business department; smoothing the process for the intermediary in having to make just one client visit over identity issues. Overall, the new process promotes quality business and minimises inconvenience to financial advisers.
This AILO initiative is an excellent example of our industry being on the front foot and reacting to regulatory change as an industry. Other examples will increasingly present themselves, such as helping the industry interpret, prepare for, and take advantage of opportunities presented by the EU Mediation directive, which taken with the Life directives, will change significantly the way business is conducted cross-border within the EU.
We look forward to playing a full part in helping AILO play a growing role in ensuring the continued growth in the size and good reputation of our industry.
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