Dim Domination is closer than any of us can feel comfortable with.  Get well soon Boris.  All our futures count on it.


Tracker cracker


OECD has produced a country tracker available on its website (but you have to scroll down a bit from where this link takes you).  This sets out the current lockdown status in each country and the measures being taken by government to try and maintain economic activity etc.  Looks a useful source of information for the context in which your clients find themselves.  The tracker is updated every day at 10am Paris time.  Or, as we know it, 9am.




FCA has published its 2020 business plan.  This emphasises that the current crisis is its very significant focus and it will not seek to progress work where that may affect firms ability to cope.  That said, as things begin to move towards whatever our future normal will be, it will have the following objectives.


  • Work to ensure consumers have access to effective and safe payments services.
  • Work to manage the risk of unaffordable debt for consumers.
  • Transparency to ensure that consumers can take effective investment decisions.
  • Ensuring consumers get fair value in increasingly digital markets – which is where some of its work on pricing practices in personal lines will get picked up.


Cross sector work will focus on the following.


  • Brexit – but with an emphasis on further pursuing work to develop global standards.
  • Climate change – but with a relatively restrained ambition around consumers having access to sustainable products.
  • Innovation and technology – mainly inwardly focussed on making better use of data and replacing GABRIEL (something Arsenal did with Skodran Mustafi so it is easy to see how this process can go wrong).
  • Completing the consultation on operational resilience which proposes introducing an entirely unnecessary third level of rules to help FCA require the same things it already requires twice over anyway.
  • Beefing up its work on financial crime through better use of data analysis.
  • Culture – which comes last in the list which is not consistent with FCA’s recent focus.  But I may be reading too much into this.


For the general insurance sector they will look at:


  • consumers, particularly the vulnerable, not being unfairly excluded from some product lines (particularly travel);
  • further work on pricing in personal lines (as above);
  • a focus on ensuring its work on distribution chains is having the required streamlining effect; and
  • operational resilience – as above.  And also the work will need to take into account the widespread resilience test that Covid-19 has provided.  Touch flat pack Ikea desk…


Other observations.


  • There is the encouraging quote: “we will focus more on the outcomes we want to achieve, not narrow compliance”.  But their pudding has not been packed with proof in this regard recently.
  • They commit to being better integrated in their approach across the organisation (but again “proof” and “pudding” will be the determiners here).
  • There is a noticeable tendency to lump consumers and SMEs together – something they have equivocated over previously.
  • Confirmation of last week’s message that fees for the smallest firm have been frozen and SMEs will have extended payment periods.


No jokes though.


Embracing change


We have already commented on how our current circumstances are evolving the way people work.  But we have observed a number of other new phenomena in recent weeks, including:


  • “Zoommmmmm” – a seemingly involuntary snorting reaction made to any statement whilst not on mute by the self-promoters who wish to hog time on everybody’s screens.  In some cases, naming no names, this role is delegated to one’s dogs.
  • “Teamamble” lengthy and very high level monologues from people when asked specifically to respond to a point designed to fill time and disguise the fact that they had been doing something else and not listening.  These often start with “that is a great question…”
  • “Pie in the Skype” – turning off your camera but forgetting to go on mute before noisily eating your lunch because it is, like, 3:30 and I have been on this b****y thing since 7…


But if you have come across others, do write in.


Don’t blame the player, blame the claim


As promised on Friday, detail has been sent out about changes to the various claims schemes by LMA today.  These cover:


  • under the Lloyd’s Claims scheme, extending the threshold of claims that can be dealt with as lead only under the scheme, from £250k to £500k (and for Property Treaty and Energy from £500k to £1m);
  • streamlining claims handling decisions on co-lead binders; and
  • standing down the need for Proof of Loss documents (POLs) in many instances


and will be with you via a separate email/circular.  Any questions, please contact enquiries@liiba.co.uk



That should do for now.  I am off for a lesson in compassion from Sheila Oakes.