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November 24, 2015

FCA puts big data in insurance under the microscope

News: UK insurance companies could be faced with changing regulations.

By James Nunns

Big data’s use in the retail general insurance sector is to be studied by the Financial Conduct Authority.

The study comes as big data has an increasing impact on practices and products across financial services.

Christopher Woolard, director of strategy and competition, FCA, said: "We are starting our work on Big Data by seeking to better understand how insurance firms are using data, and how this may evolve in the future."

The authority is calling for input from firms, consumer groups, industry bodies and other interested parties, in addition to seeking data from firms from December 2015 to early 2016. The goal is to help inform any future steps.

Future steps could include adjustments to policy or guidance or whether any other form of intervention is required.

"We are keen to talk to both consumers and industry to understand Big Data’s impact on firms’ decisions, and in turn the effects that this is having on consumers. We will then be able to consider what further steps may need to be taken," said Woolard.

Focus will be placed on if big data affects consumer outcomes; whether it fosters or constrains competition and if the FCA regulatory framework affects developments in big data throughout retail general insurance.

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The call for inputs will close on the 8th of January 2016 with the findings to be published in mid-2016.

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