The following Financial Services practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
On 6 January 2008, the Financial Conduct Authority's (FCA) predecessor, the Financial Services Authority (FSA) brought into force the Insurance: Conduct of Business Sourcebook (ICOBS), which replaced the then-existing Insurance: Conduct of Business Sourcebook (ICOB). The principal change introduced by ICOBS was to move away from a prescriptive rule-based way of supervising firms to more principles-based or outcome-focused methodology. This meant that pre-existing rules in ICOB were simplified where the FSA felt that specific customer protection was not required.
Although the rules in ICOBS are of a higher level that those previously contained in ICOB (therefore resulting in more flexibility in the way that insurance firms can satisfy their requirements), the FSA made it clear in a press release on 18 December 2007 that it would require the same standards of conduct as were more expressly required under ICOB.
ICOBS has been subject to a number of amendments, none more so than as a result of the implementation of the Insurance Distribution Directive (Directive (EU) 2016/97) (IDD), which was transposed into UK law on 1 October 2018.
For more information on the background to the implementation of ICOBS and the types of insurance to which it relates, see Insurance conduct requirements—overview and Practice Note: Conduct regulation for insurers—COBS and ICOBS.
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