Pension minister backs plans for closed-book review

Pensions minister Steve Webb has backed the Financial Conduct Authority’s planned review into closed-book life policies outlined last week in its Risk Outlook paper, according to reports.

The planned review has become controversial as ahead of the Risk Outlook paper, the FCA briefed The Daily Telegraph on its plans, with the report causing the market to panic and around £3 billion being wiped off insurers’ share prices.

The regulator has since been heavily criticised by providers and Chancellor George Osborne for trailing its plans and failing to clarify the scope of the review within time to avoid a mass sell-off of insurers’ shares.

The FCA allowed shares to slide for six and half hours before putting out a statement on its plans, which saw life companies pare losses.

Despite the criticism over the way the review was announced, Steve Webb told The Telegraph he was supportive of the review’s aims.

‘We welcome any action that means pension savers get value for money,’ he told the paper.