Sam Woods: Looking out for the policyholder

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 Association of British Insurers Annual Conference 2018, London, 27 February 2018.

The views expressed in this speech are those of the speaker and not the view of the BIS.

Central bank speech  | 
02 March 2018

I will begin this speech with a bold claim: insurance regulation is fun!

This is just as well, because it is half of what we do at the PRA.  Parliament very wisely decided to put prudential regulation of banks and insurers together in one institution following the financial crisis.  I think this works very well, because there are many synergies.  Both sectors provide critical services to the real economy, bringing customers' money directly onto their balance sheets.  And I would argue, for instance,  that the basic qualities which make a good chairperson aren't materially different between banking and insurance. 

But there are also very big differences.  An annuity writer is nothing like a building society.  London Market underwriters I have sat next to do a very, very different thing to what goes on in banks.  The eighty actuaries we employ as part of our insurance division speak a different language from our risk specialists sat on the floor above them at 20 Moorgate.