HC Deb 24 November 1909 vol 13 cc255-6

(1) Every assurance company shall, once in every five years or at such shorter intervals as may be prescribed by the instrument constituting the company, or by its regulations or byelaws, cause an investigation to be made into its financial condition by an actuary, and shall cause an abstract of the report of such actuary to be made in the form or forms set forth in the Fourth Schedule to this Act and applicable to the class or classes of assurance business carried on by the company.

(2) The foregoing provisions of this Section shall also apply whenever at any other time an investigation into the financial condition of an assurance company is made with a view to the distribution of profits, or the results of which are made public.


moved to leave out of Subsection (1) the words "or at such shorter intervals as may be prescribed by the instrument constituting the company, or by its regulations or bye-laws." I hope the right hon. Gentleman will be able to accept this Amendment, the object of which is to provide that these returns shall only be required once every five years.


I can go some way to meet the hon. Member. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Sheffield (Mr. Stuart-Wortley) has down on the Paper a long Amendment to Clause 31 which I am willing to accept, and I think that will achieve the purpose the hon. Gentleman has in view without going beyond that and affecting other branches of the business. The Clause provides that an investigation shall be made every five years, and oftener in certain circumstances. The method of conducting the business of certain companies may make the investigation almost an annual one, and in some cases that is necessary. In the case of some companies like the Prudential, where there are large money payments made every year, and where the assets of the company are affected as well as the interests of the policy holders, it is right that there should be an annual statement. There are a number of companies which do their business by an annual reduction of premium, and in that case, the security of the policy holders not being affected, there would be no need to insist upon the annual investigation. The difference between the hon. Member's Amendment and the Amendment of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the Hallam Division of Sheffield is that it distinguishes between these two classes, giving relief in one case without relaxing control in the other.


In view of what the right hon. Gentleman has said, I ask leave to withdraw my Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.


moved, in Sub-section (1), after the word "condition" ["financial condition by an actuary"], to insert the words "including a valuation of its liabilities." I hope my right hon. Friend will accept my proposal.


I am advised that the addition of these words expresses the intention of the Bill in an improved form, and I am willing to accept them.

Amendment agreed to.