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UK’s FCA probes into suspected misconduct of aviation insurance brokers

IBR Staff Writer Published 24 April 2017

The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has launched an antitrust investigation into various top insurance brokers for sharing competitively sensitive data within the aviation and insurance sectors.

The FCA has been investigating whether the companies had indulged in improper conduct by disclosing confidential information pertaining to their clients within the aviation insurance industry.

In this regard, the watchdog had carried out raids at offices of various insurance brokerages as part of its probe.

The companies facing investigation include Aon, Jardine Lloyd Thompson (JLT), Willis Towers Watson, United Insurance Brokers (UIB) and Marsh, as reported in several of the British media publications.

Marsh has confirmed that the FCA had carried out an on-site inspection at its London office as part of the latter’s civil competition investigation.

The insurance broker and risk management provider has revealed that the FCA informed it that it had reasonable grounds for suspecting it and other companies of leaking competitively sensitive details within the aviation insurance and reinsurance sector.

Marsh stated that it was fully cooperating with the ongoing investigation of the watchdog while also carrying out its own review with help from an external counsel.

The London-headquartered JLT has also released a statement regarding the FCA investigation which read: “The Company is participating in this investigation and confirms that JLT Specialty is providing all appropriate assistance to the FCA.

“We are unable to comment on the ongoing investigation beyond saying that JLT takes all regulatory matters very seriously and has a constructive relationship with all the regulators that it works with across the JLT Group.”

Aon, which earned less than $100m globally from its aviation broking operations in 2016, has also reacted on the FCA investigation. It said that it has been working diligently with the regulator to make sure that the latter can conduct its investigation as efficiently as possible.

Aon further stated: “We cannot comment on the details of this investigation as it is ongoing, other than to say Aon takes compliance and regulatory issues extremely seriously and has a strong and respectful relationship with the regulator.”

Image: FCA is probing into suspected misconduct of companies in the aviation insurance sector. Photo: courtesy of pixtawan/Freedigitalphotos.net.