Two weeks to go before FSA deadline

Article date: 25 June 2004

The UK’s largest commercial property insurer, NorwichUnion, has launched a guide for property owners and managing agentsto explain how to comply with the new FSA regulations.

From 14 January 2005, anyone arranging or advising on insurancecontracts will need FSA authorisation to do so – or will bebreaking the law. The deadline to register for authorisation is 13July 2004, just over two weeks away.

The guide, produced in conjunction with PricewaterhouseCoopers,clarifies the impact of regulation on property owners and managingagents, providing a concise overview of what steps they need totake, a table of key actions and how the authorisation process willwork.

Simon Bloomfield, distribution manager at Norwich Unionexplains: "Busy professionals are unlikely to have had time toplough through the hundreds of pages of the FSA handbook andconsultation documents, so there is understandably a lot ofuncertainty surrounding the issue.

"The fact that the rules are so lengthy has been a majorstumbling block in getting property owners and managing agents toapply. We’ve made every effort to strip out the jargon andcut to the crux of the issues that these businesses need toaddress."

The new legislation could hit the commercial property sectorhard, as a significant proportion of its business profits comedirectly from selling financial services products.

Simon Bloomfield continues: "We estimate that a significantpercentage of property professionals are not yet actively preparingfor the impact of the legislation.

"Time is now running out. Property owners and managing agentsneed to register by 13 July at the latest to guarantee that the FSAwill confirm authorisation to sell general insurance products bythe January deadline.

"Unless they have either obtained direct authorisation from theFSA, or found another firm to ‘appoint’ them and managetheir compliance, they will be committing a criminal offence bycontinuing to arrange, administer or advise on insurance contractsfrom 14 January 2005.

"We are confident the guide will help property owners andmanaging agents get started."

Norwich Union will be issuing the FSA guide to itsintermediaries and asking them to share them with their propertycustomers this week. If you would like an electronic copy of thisdocument, visit: http://www.nuebroking.com/

-ends-

For further information, please contact:
Alison Owen at Staniforth on 0161 274 0100 
David Ross at Norwich Union on 08703 66 68 65/07786 526350.

Notes to editors:

  • Norwich Union is the UK's largest insurer with a market shareof around 14%
  • With a focus on insurance for individuals and smallbusinesses, Norwich Union insures:
    • one in five households
    • one in seven motor vehicles
    • more than 800,000 businesses
  • Norwich Union products are available through a variety ofdistribution channels including brokers, corporate partners suchas banks and building societies and Norwich Union Direct
  • Norwich Union’s news releases and a selection of imagesare available on the Aviva internet press centre at www.aviva.com/media
  • An ISDN facility is available for studio quality broadcast.Call the press office on 08703 66 68 68
  • For all life & pensions media enquiries 08703 66 6873
  • For all other media enquiries 08703 66 68 68
  • Members of the General Insurance Standards Council
  • Members of the Aviva group

Back to top