Here we cover all the very latest news. If you have a specific enquiry or something you’d like to find out about, please get in touch. For all media enquiries, please contact the AFM team at Elephant Communications at or call 07738 160961. Alternatively contact Martin Shaw at AFM via email or call 0788 754 7195.

10 November 2011

Commenting on the FSA’s consultation paper on implementation of the Solvency II Directive, Martin Shaw, Chief Executive of the Association of Financial Mutuals stated:


“We welcome the publication today of the FSA’s consultation on transposition of Solvency II into the FSA rulebook. Whilst full implementation of the directive is being delayed it is vital for the industry to have clarity now on what the rules will look like in the future.


“Solvency II provides a comprehensive approach to capital management across Europe, and its role in promoting financial stability and consumer protection is a vital part of retaining confidence in the European insurance sector.


“The FSA’s estimation of £1.9 billion in implementation costs for the UK insurance industry demonstrates the financial onus on the sector in order to be compliant when the directive is transposed into UK law. Not only do insurers of differing sizes have to contend with these up front costs, but the ongoing compliance bill will be in the region of £200 million per year. In mutual insurers, of course, those costs are borne directly by consumers and £1.9 billion equates to at least £10 for every policy.


“This makes for concerning reading, particularly given the broad range of other regulatory projects insurers have to cope with at present.  Small mutuals in particular will bear a disproportionately higher cost as many of the costs are not scalable, and they have a smaller customer base to share the costs over.


“FSA’s analysis also indicates that whilst capital holdings in aggregate are sufficient, around 20% of UK insurers face a shortfall of £12.5 billion.  We expect that the true amount of the shortfall will be much lower by the time Solvency II goes live, as insurers act to retain profits and change their business structure to reduce the amount of capital required.  We might also see an increase in strategic action, including disposals of back books and further consolidation.” 

05 November 2011

Comment on Government and FSA responses to the Treasury Select Committee’s report on the RDR 

Commenting on the Government and FSA responses to the Treasury Select Committee’s report on the RDR, Martin Shaw, Chief Executive of the Association of Financial Mutuals, stated:


“It's good to see that the Government has acknowledged the confusion over how much VAT will be payable as a result of the RDR’s implementation; we hope to see further clarification on this soon and we welcome HMRC’s intention to meet with the industry.


“Considering the overarching objective of the RDR is to increase both the quality of advice delivered and the transparency around paying for it, it is crucial for the industry to understand what the regulator envisages a 'low cost simplified advice' regime will look like for consumers and that they consult properly with the industry in order to achieve the best possible outcome for consumers.


“It is right that the Government has not agreed to the twelve month delay the TSC report recommended. At a time of regulatory change, the industry needs as much certainty as possible and preparations for the RDR’s implementation are well underway. The FSA needs to move ahead quickly now to ensure the regulation is in good shape upon implementation.” 

09 September 2011

Mutual helps reunite family fortunes on prime time TV


Missing Millions: ITV1: 8pm, Tuesday 13 September

Engage Mutual has been working with a team of TV researchers and genealogists to track down recipients of unclaimed funds it holds on behalf of customers or their beneficiaries.

Some of its heart warming stories, featuring unexpected windfalls, will be aired on ITV1’s prime time 8pm slot, with the first of four episodes starting next Tuesday (13 September).

+ Click to

12 October 2011

Rating agency downgrade

The decision by Moody's to downgrade the credit rating of a number of banks and building societies wasinevitable whenthe Government made it clear earlier this year that deposit-takers should not be seen simply as 'too big to fail'.  So this movereflects a catching up by the agency rather than a change in the creditworthiness of the institutions. That said, it was not too long ago that Dexia from Belgium passed its stress testing with flying colours, yetit is now in the process of seeking a further bail-out.


"Investors should not be worried- and as long as they avoid holding more than £85,000 in any bank or building society, their deposits are safe." 

17 August 2011

Educating to save as well as saving to educate

Urgent and significant attention needs to be given to those saving for further education according to Martin Shaw, Chief Executive of the Association of Financial Mutuals:

“With the introduction of new tuition fees it has never been more important for parents to start planning towards meeting the cost of education.  However, what children need today, just as much as saving to educate, is educating to save. This point is made more prescient with the recent research from the Personal Finance Education Group showing that over half of all teenagers are in debt by the age of 17.

+ See full release here

18 July 2011

AFM responds to report by Treasury Select Committee on the Retail Distribution Review

The Treasury Select Committee (TSC) has concluded in its report that the implementation of the Retail Distribution Review (RDR) should be delayed by 12 months.

+ See full release here

18 July 2011

AFM welcomes MPs' call on government to promote financial mutuals

The Association of Financial Mutuals welcomes the report issued today by the All-Party Group on Financial Mutuals, following their Short Inquiry into Corporate Diversity in Financial Services.

+ See full release here

30 June 2011

Martin Shaw, CEO of the Association of Financial Mutuals whose members provide insurance products, calls for the industry to implement its own code of conduct as an interim measure to a ban on the payment of referral fees

“The Association of Financial Mutuals supports yesterday’s calls on the outright ban of referral fees as opposed to greater transparency but  we recommend that in the meantime the insurance industry proactively takes action and sets up its own code of conduct, which we would be very happy to help develop.  No motor insurance provider within AFM sells customer data to other organisations and our members give their strong support to the campaign to introduce major reform in this area.


+ See full release here

30 June 2011

Martin Shaw of the Association of Financial Mutuals reacts to Mark Hoban’s proposed gender consultation with the Insurance Industry

“March’s  Gender Ruling was greeted with a resigned sense of disappointment because it is bad news for consumers. They are the ones who will get a worse deal as a result.  The insurance industry was exempt from previous gender legislation because there is clear evidence that it is a fair basis on which to reflect different risks. Therefore, to ignore gender in insurance would be to discriminate not only against young female drivers but male annuitants as well.”

+ See full release here

14 May 2011

Martin Shaw, Chief Executive at Association of Financial Mutuals comments

"Rumours of the demise of the Child Trust Fund are very much premature.  The statement issued yesterday indicates the Government is seeking to reduce payments for higher earners.  That suggests quite clearly keeping the product universal albeit it at a lower cost to the Exchequer.  This is very consistent with the talks that the Association of Financial Mutuals, whose members manage over half of all CTFs, has been having with political parties for some time, and we are keen to work with them on that basis.

+ See full release here

The Mutual Manifesto challenges all political parties to show they understand the mutual sector.

Mutuals have proved themselves to be resilient in recent years and have seen rapid increases in market share between 2008 and 2010 being at the forefront of product innovation in the insurance sector.”

John Reeve Chief Executive
Family Investment 2011

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