HC Deb 21 October 2003 vol 411 cc487-8W
Dr. Cable

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many financial advisers he estimates are operating without professional indemnity insurance; and if he will make a statement. [132880]

Ruth Kelly

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) tell me that as at 30 September 2003 of the 4,047 firms that are required to hold professional indemnity insurance (PII) cover, 749 have yet to notify the FSA that they have obtained cover. At that same date, 82 firms have been granted a waiver from the requirement to hold PII and are, in effect, self-insuring. Under current market conditions, there can be a time lag of three months or more for a firm to obtain suitable cover and notify FSA of that fact.

The FSA published a consultation paper in July 2003 with new proposals on its PII policy and revised rules for firms. The new PII policy will give firms a more flexible framework within which they can choose how to combine PII and financial resources. This will help firms remain in business and will continue to protect consumers who may have claims against firms.

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