SYSC 10.1A IDD Regulation – Conflicts of interest

Application

SYSC 10.1A.1 G

1The IDD Regulation is directly applicable to a firm when carrying on insurance distribution in relation to insurance-based investment products. The relevant articles relating to conflicts of interest are set out in this section for information only.

Identifying conflicts

SYSC 10.1A.2 EU
  1. 13(1) For the purposes of identifying, in accordance with Article 28 of Directive (EU) 2016/97, the types of conflicts of interest that arise in the course of carrying out any insurance distribution activities related to insurance-based investment products and which entail a risk of damage to the interests of a customer, insurance intermediaries and insurance undertakings shall assess whether they, a relevant person or any person directly or indirectly linked to them by control, have an interest in the outcome of the insurance distribution activities, which meets the following criteria:

    1. (a)

      it is distinct from the customer’s or potential customer’s interest in the outcome of the insurance distribution activities;

    2. (b)

      it has the potential to influence the outcome of the distribution activities to the detriment of the customer.

    Insurance intermediaries and insurance undertakings shall proceed in the same way for the purposes of identifying conflicts of interest between one customer and another.

  2. 3(2) For the purposes of the assessment pursuant to paragraph 1, insurance intermediaries and insurance undertakings shall take into account, by way of minimum criteria, the following situations:

    1. (a)

      the insurance intermediary or insurance undertaking, a relevant person or any person directly or indirectly linked to them by control is likely to make a financial gain, or avoid a financial loss, to the potential detriment of the customer;

    2. (b)

      the insurance intermediary or insurance undertaking, a relevant person or any person directly or indirectly linked to them by control has a financial or other incentive to favour the interest of another customer or group of customers over the interest of the customer;

    3. (c)

      the insurance intermediary or insurance undertaking, a relevant person or any person directly or indirectly linked by control to an insurance intermediary or an insurance undertaking is substantially involved in the management or development of insurance-based investment products, in particular where such a person has an influence on the pricing of those products or their distribution costs.

[Note: article 3 of the IDD Regulation]

Conflicts policy

SYSC 10.1A.3 EU
  1. 14(1) For the purposes of Article 27 of Directive (EU) 2016/97, insurance intermediaries and insurance undertakings shall be expected to establish, implement and maintain an effective conflicts of interest policy set out in writing and appropriate to their size and organisation and the nature, scale and complexity of their business.

    Where the insurance intermediary or insurance undertaking is a member of a group, the policy shall also take into account any circumstances, of which the insurance intermediary or insurance undertaking is or should be aware, which may give rise to a conflict of interest arising as a result of the structure and business activities of other members of the group.

[Note: article 4(1) of the IDD Regulation]

Contents of policy

SYSC 10.1A.4 EU
  1. 14(2) The conflicts of interest policy established in accordance with paragraph 1 shall include the following content:

    1. (a)

      with reference to the specific insurance distribution activities carried out, the circumstances which constitute or may give rise to a conflict of interest entailing a risk of damage to the interests of one or more customers;

    2. (b)

      procedures to be followed and measures to be adopted in order to manage such conflicts and prevent them from damaging the interests of the customer.

[Note: article 4(2) of the IDD Regulation]

SYSC 10.1A.5 EU
  1. 1The procedures and measures referred to in Article 4(2)(b) shall be appropriate to the size and activities of the insurance intermediary or insurance undertaking and of the group to which they may belong, and to the risk of damage to the interests of the customer.

    The procedures to be followed and measures to be adopted in accordance with Article 4(2)(b) shall include, where appropriate, the following:

    1. (a)

      effective procedures to prevent or control the exchange of information between relevant persons engaged in activities involving a risk of conflict of interest where the exchange of that information may damage the interests of one or more customers;

    2. (b)

      the separate supervision of relevant persons whose principal functions involve carrying out activities on behalf of, or providing services, to customers whose interests may conflict, or who otherwise represent different interests that may conflict, including those of the insurance intermediary or insurance undertaking;

    3. (c)

      the removal of any direct link between payments, including remuneration, to relevant persons engaged in one activity and payments, including remuneration, to different relevant persons principally engaged in another activity, where a conflict of interest may arise in relation to those activities;

    4. (d)

      measures to prevent or limit any person from exercising inappropriate influence over the way in which insurance distribution activities are carried out by the insurance intermediary or insurance undertaking or their managers or employees or any person directly or indirectly linked to them by control;

    5. (e)

      measures to prevent or control the simultaneous or sequential involvement of a relevant person in separate insurance distribution activities where such involvement may impair the proper management of conflicts of interest;

    6. (f)

      a gifts and benefits policy which determines clearly under which conditions gifts and benefits can be accepted or granted and which steps are to be taken when accepting and granting gifts and benefits.

  2. 5(2) Where insurance intermediaries and insurance undertakings can demonstrate that the measures and procedures referred to in paragraph 1 are not appropriate to ensure that the insurance distribution activities are carried out in accordance with the best interest of the customer and are not biased due to conflicting interests of the insurance intermediary, the insurance undertaking or another customer, insurance intermediaries and insurance undertakings shall adopt adequate alternative measures and procedures for that purpose.

[Note: article 5 of the IDD Regulation]

Disclosure of conflicts

SYSC 10.1A.6 EU
  1. 16(1) Insurance intermediaries and insurance undertakings shall avoid over-reliance on disclosure to ensure that disclosure to customers, pursuant to Article 28(2) of Directive (EU) 2016/97, is a measure of last resort that can be used only where the effective organisational and administrative arrangements established by the insurance intermediary or insurance undertaking to prevent or manage conflicts of interest in accordance with Article 27 of Directive (EU) 2016/97 are not sufficient to ensure, with reasonable confidence, that risks of damage to the interests of the customer will be prevented.

  2. 6(2) For the purposes of a disclosure of conflicts of interest insurance intermediaries and insurance undertakings shall do all of the following:

    1. (a)

      provide a specific description of the conflict of interest in question;

    2. (b)

      explain the general nature and sources of the conflict of interest;

    3. (c)

      explain the risks to the consumer that arise as a result of the conflict of interest and the steps undertaken to mitigate those risks;

    4. (d)

      clearly state that the organisational and administrative arrangements established by the insurance intermediary or insurance undertaking to prevent or manage the conflict of interest are not sufficient to ensure, with reasonable confidence, that risks of damage to the interests of the customer will be prevented.

[Note: article 6 of the IDD Regulation]

Review of conflicts policy

SYSC 10.1A.7 EU
  1. 17(1) For the purposes of Article 27 of Directive (EU) 2016/97, insurance intermediaries and insurance undertakings shall assess and periodically review, on an at least annual basis, the conflicts of interest policy established in accordance with Article 4 and take all appropriate measures to address any deficiencies.

    [Note: article 7(1) of the IDD Regulation]

Record keeping

SYSC 10.1A.8 EU
  1. 7(2) Insurance intermediaries and insurance undertakings shall keep and regularly update a record of the situations in which a conflict of interest entailing a risk of damage to the interests of a customer has arisen or, in the case of an ongoing service or activity may arise.

    Senior management of the insurance intermediary or insurance undertaking shall receive on a frequent basis, and at least annually, written reports on the situations referred to in the first subparagraph.

    [Note: article 7(2) of the IDD Regulation]