LONDON, April 8 Britain's insurance industry has
urged its regulator to hold a fully independent inquiry into how
news of a review into the sector was released.
Shares in the sector tumbled on March 28 after the Financial
Conduct Authority told a newspaper it was reviewing part of the
insurance industry, raising fears that profitability would be
The watchdog did not clarify its review until more than six
hours after trading had opened.
The Association of British Insurers (ABI) said in a letter
to the FCA, released to the media on Tuesday, that it has
serious concerns about what appears to have been premature and
The watchdog has said the investigation into its handling of
the news would be carried out by its board with an external law
firm, but the ABI wants an independent probe, saying the
watchdog "cannot be permitted to investigate itself".
"This is very much a situation in which even the perception
of a lack of objectivity or thoroughness could be damaging to
the FCA and its aims," the ABI said.
(Reporting by Huw Jones, editing by Clare Hutchison)