Sam Woods: Insurance supervision at the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA)

Speech by Mr Sam Woods, Deputy Governor for Prudential Regulation of the Bank of England and Chief Executive of the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA), at the London Business School, London, 20 March 2017.

Good morning.

The UK has a world-leading insurance sector which provides a wide range of vital services to the real economy and society. It promotes growth and employment, has proved its mettle in turbulent times and the country can be proud of it.

A necessary precondition to such success is world-class insurance supervision. That is what we aim to deliver at the PRA. Like insurers, our job is to be forward-looking and prudent about risk. Where we differ from private firms is that we do this motivated solely by the public interest.

The recent debate about insurance regulation - while timely and important - must seem to some like a cacophony of acronyms, statistics, models and assumptions. But strip this back and you'll see there is an essential, irreducible human core to it all. Some of the oldest and most vulnerable in our society have invested their life savings into long-term annuity contracts. By pooling and transferring many kinds of risks - from cyber to marine - insurers provide cover which is essential for economic activity. And by protecting for critical illness or personal accident, insurers commit to being there when you need them most.