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Andrew Bailey appointed new head of FCA

Deputy Governor of the Bank of England Andrew Bailey Credit: PA

Deputy Governor of the Bank of England Andrew Bailey has been appointed head of City watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority.

He will succeed Martin Wheatley, who it was announced was leaving the regulator last summer after George Osborne chose not to renew his five-year contract.

FCA chief executive Martin Wheatley to step down

FCA chief executive Martin Wheatley to step down Credit: Lewis Whyld/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The Financial Conduct Authority chief executive Martin Wheatley is to step down in September, the City watchdog announced today.

Wheatley will continue to act as an adviser to the FCA board until January 2016.

The current FCA director of supervision Tracey McDermott will step up to become acting chief executive from 12 September while the FCA searches for Wheatley’s replacement.

John Griffith-Jones, chairman of the FCA, said "Martin has done an outstanding job as chief executive, setting up and leading the FCA over the last four years."

City watchdog launches insurance companies probe

Billions of pounds were wiped off the value of leading insurance companies today after the City watchdog launched a new investigation.

The Financial Conduct Authority is looking at policies like endowments and pensions dating from the 1970s to the turn of the century that locked savers in with high exit fees, amid concerns customers may have been charged too much.

ITV News Economics Editor Richard Edgar reports.

Aviva expects 'minimal impact' from policy probe

Aviva shares dipped by almost 3% following today's announcement. Credit: Aviva

Britain's largest insurer says it expects to feel "minimal" impact on profits as a result of an investigation into 30 million policies.

Aviva, which has seen its shares close almost 3% lower after the announcement of the probe, says it has already capped charges at 1% or less for pre-2001 group personal pension policies and has no material exit charges applying to its legacy book.

It said the Financial Conduct Authority's review could apply to around £200 million of its long-standing life insurance policies.

However, the firm added its "treatment of customers has been fair and appropriate, and therefore any impact on the group's profits should be minimal, if at all".


Public trust in financial services 'shattered'

Ongoing exposure of poor practice in the financial services industry has "shattered" the public's trust, an expert has said.

Ros Altmann, an independent pensions expert and savers' campaigner, said: "Too often, insurers rely on customer inertia and take advantage of people's trust.

"Insurance is meant to offer both protection and future growth at a reasonable price, yet all too often its product pricing relies on customer inertia to recoup costs from captive customers."

Insurance firm shares rally after early shock

Shares in a number of insurance firms have recovered slightly since tumbling this morning in the wake of the Financial Conduct Authority's announcement of an investigation into 30 million policies.

Performance since the start of the day for a handful of companies is as follows:

  • Resolution was down 7.10%
  • Standard Life was down 1.55%
  • Aviva was down 2.75%
  • Legal & General was down 3.67%
  • Prudential was down 3.03%

Insurer: 'Disorderly market' reaction to watchdog probe

Insurer Legal & General called on the Financial Conduct Authority to bring forward details of its investigation into 30 million polices sold between the 1970s and 2000 after a "disorderly market" reaction to the announcement.

Legal & General does not outsource customer administration: our customers benefit from the continuity of a single product and service provider.

Our operating practices ensure we provide good value to our customers, and we have operated a programme of ongoing product reviews for more than 10 years.

– Legal & General

FCA: 'Highly unlikely' exit fees will be wiped out

The City watchdog the Financial Conduct Authority has told ITV News' Business Editor Joel Hills about their inquiry into 30 million policies sold by insurance companies between the 1970s and 2000:

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