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24th May 2015

Newslink Trends: Global Insurance Analysis

This week, regulatory issues were to the fore-The Financial Conduct Authority(FCA) reported that UK insurers have room for improvement in handling SME sector claims, whilst the International Underwriting Association(IUA) said that the above average regulatory fees being imposed on UK insurers by the Prudential Regulatory Authority(PRA) were disappointing. Insurance Europe suggested changes to Solvency II securitisation provisions in response to a European Commission(EC) consultation, and also commented on the EC Capital Markets Union Green Paper. Standard & Poor's is to continue using its capital model after Solvency II is introduced.
On the technology front, the Board of Placing Platform Ltd(PPL) officially named Ebix as its preferred software supplier for an aspect of London Market processing that is a key and urgent part of the modernisation strategy. Meanwhile, MSIG at Lloyd's launched a new trading platform targeting niche markets internationally. Dual Underwriting became the 20th company to sign up for Sequel's Impact risk exposure and aggregation tool, and Xchanging announced the launch of Xcelsia Claims TPA global adjusting service and its first partner-in Canada. Aon Benfield introduced a Canada probabilistic flood model, and Qatar Re chose Conning's GEMS ESG software. The Floow is to partner in a study of air pollution in Yorkshire, using its telematic solution, and Quindell received the FCA nod for the disposal of its Professional Services Division to Slater & Gordon.
J.D.Power's latest US website survey suggested that insurers are having problems keeping pace with the rise in smartphone and tablet use by online shoppers and existing customers. Swiss Re published a "New emerging risks insight" report using the SONAR process.
Partner Re and EXOR continued their lively communication, with the former saying it would now proceed with its proposed merger with Axis Capital-but watch this space as the EXOR door is still slightly ajar. AXA is to acquire in Brazil, RSA finally completed the sale of its China business book to Swiss Re Corporate Solutions, and Zurich said it was on track to meet its 2014/2016 targets but further action was still required on Group strategy. Arch Re completed the acquisition of Gulf Re, and RFIB launched a life reinsurance unit. There were first quarter updates from Amlin("good first quarter"), Hastings Group(continued growth and profitability), and Vienna Insurance Group(a good start across all markets). There were senior appointments at AGCS, Canopius, and Gallagher.
Articles on the above topics are included in those added to the Insurance Newslink and Financial Newslink global database service on Wednesday and today at www.onlystrategic.com