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FSA launches probe into £800bn unit-linked fund sector

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FSA launches probe into £800bn unit-linked fund sector

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) is conducting a thematic review into the governance of unit-linked funds run by life insurers, a sector it estimates to account for £800 billion in funds under management.

The FSA highlighted the governance of unit-linked funds by life insurers as an emerging risk in its Retail Conduct Risk Outlook in 2012.

In its insurance conduct supervision newsletter, the FSA said: ‘The funds under management in the unit-linked sector are currently over £800bn and will grow significantly with the introduction of pension auto-enrolment. Due to the size and importance of this sector, any failures pose a high risk to our statutory objectives, particularly the protection of consumers.’

The review will assess whether firms have adequate systems and control in place to ensure that funds are administered and managed fairly and in accordance with customer expectations, it said.

The FSA will also asses if assets backing unit-linked policies are appropriate for policy holders and that policy holder benefits are calculated fairly and accurately.

It has taken a sample of firms covering a large proportion of the market and incorporates firms of different size, nature and business models.

It expects to share the results of the thematic review in the autumn.

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