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UK regulator begins wholesale broking probe

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The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has started a study of competition in the wholesale insurance broker sector.

The regulator wants to ensure the sector works well following significant changes, and fosters innovation and competition.

It says the London insurance market is a world-leading hub for large-scale, complex commercial and specialist risks, controlling more than £68 billion ($116.43 billion) in gross written premium.

“Given the size of the wholesale insurance sector and the type of large-scale risks it covers, the way it functions can have a wide-ranging impact on the broader economy,” FCA Executive Director of Strategy and Competition Christopher Woolard said.

“If businesses cannot get appropriate cover or pay more for services than they should, it can impact on their ability to operate and grow. Brokers play an important part in the wholesale insurance sector ensuring clients get appropriate coverage at good value.

“However, following significant changes in the sector, we are looking at the dynamics to ensure competition is working well.”

The FCA has published terms of reference and will take responses until January 19. An interim report will be published late next year.