The Davis report, an inquiry into the FCA’s handling of a media briefing on its review of long-term insurance contracts earlier in the year, recommended the regulator change its systems, processes and ways of working across seven areas.
In March, FCA director of long-term savings and investments Nick Poyntz-Wright briefed a Telegraph journalist on details of its soon-to-be-announced supervisory probe into the treatment of “long-standing” customers in insurance contracts.
The FCA explained its remarks and the scope of the review only days later, sending life insurers’ shares tumbling in the interim.
The independent report into the matter carried out by law firm Clifford Chance partner Simon Davis, suggested seven areas of improvement.
The FCA said today it has reviewed an additional three areas, including its handling of price sensitive information; its external communications strategy; and its and crisis response framework.
It apologised for the shortcomings highlighted by Davis and said it is now implementing recommendations across all ten areas.
The regulator is also in the process of re-structuring its organisation and has announced the departure of three senior executives as a result.
The changes the FCA said it has made:
- We have introduced substantial improvement in the procedures relating to the identification, control and release of price sensitive information;
- We have begun central training about these revised procedures for all managers and further training and awareness initiatives will be rolled out to all staff within their divisions shortly;
- In future the annual business plan will be released to all market participants at the same time;
- We have reaffirmed our existing policy and practice that we will not brief price sensitive information externally under any circumstances;
- In addition, selective media briefing without an embargo on any thematic review, or indeed any other announcement, will only take place after the relevant team have agreed the communications approach and with the express approval of the chief executive;
- We have agreed and implemented new sign-off procedures for all external and internal communications;
- We are developing new operational protocols which will apply to communications with our audiences, including the media. These will be benchmarked against those of other regulators;
- We are enhancing our frameworks to support incident, issue and crisis handling, recognising that speed of escalation and decision-making are critical in such situations.