August 6, 2014 / 12:10 PM / in 3 years

UPDATE 1-Top Bank of England insurance regulator to move to Prudential

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LONDON, Aug 6 (Reuters) - The Bank of England’s top insurance regulator, Julian Adams, is leaving to join major insurance group Prudential, in the second major departure from the central bank this week.

The BoE said Adams, who has spent 28 years as a regulator, would start as global regulatory director at Prudential early next year once a post-employment cooling-off period expired.

Adams’s exit comes at an awkward time for the BoE and global regulators as efforts to toughen regulation for banks reach an end and the focus shifts to sectors like insurers.

The news also comes two days after the BoE’s former chief economist, Spencer Dale, said he was quitting a new role at the bank after just two months to become chief economist at oil giant BP.

The BoE has recently warned that it may in future need to keep a closer eye the dangers to the financial system posed by firms such as investment funds and insurers, as riskier business leaves more heavily regulated banks.

Adams oversaw more than 500 life and general insurance firms in Britain - one of the world’s biggest insurance centres - and helped implement sweeping changes to how the sector must set aside enough capital to protect policyholders, under new European rules known as Solvency II which take effect in 2016.

Adams was also a key figure in attempts this year by the Group of 20 (G20) economies to agree the first global capital rules for the world’s biggest insurers, including Prudential.

Insurers have resisted the G20 plans, saying they did not cause the 2007-09 financial crisis and do not pose the same risks as banks, who have faced a welter of new regulation.

The G20 will continue to flesh out the new capital rules for insurers over the coming two years and Adams will be able to help Prudential and the wider sector to shape the debate. (Reporting by David Milliken and Huw Jones, Editing by Andy Bruce and William Schomberg; Editing by Toby Chopra)

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