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I'm here with Otto Thoresen, Director General of the ABI, and Drew Fellowes, Head of Insurance at KPMG, talking about some of the key issues facing the industry. Otto, what do you think are the main challenges facing the insurance industry today?
There's a combination of strategic long-term challenges and short-term more tactical challenges, so firstly the industry’s reputation, post the financial crisis. How do we get to a position where consumers can have confidence again in an industry which very often is making long-term commitments to people?
There a big raft of change coming on regulation, driven from Europe but also domestically here in the UK, and how we respond to that is critical. But then, from the tactical point of view, issues like Solvency II, pension reform, the Retail Distribution Review, all these things are coming to a very critical time in their execution and implementation and the industry has got to respond well to those changes.
I agree with Otto. The main driver of all this change is regulation and we’re seeing some major initiatives happening all around the same time. Otto’s mentioned the Retail Distribution Review; that’s a critical element of the regulatory reform that's going to impact the consumer as much as the insurer.
Solvency II is a major impact also on the industry and how that’s going to develop over the years is going to be interesting because it will not be finished within the next 18 months or so. But, for me, it’s how the insurance industry at large deals with this enormous amount of regulatory change that’s coming their way.
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