Analysis of Solvency statements for 2022

July 2023

The majority of Solvency and Financial Condition Reports (“SFCRs”) for 2022 have now been published and, as in previous years, AFM Associate member OAC has helpfully produced a summary of various metrics using the publicly available data for AFM members and other firms of a similar nature and size.

27 insurers have been included, with total assets of £9.8bn, the majority being members of AFM, and a summary of key metrics is outlined below:

  • Asset values have fallen by just under 10% over the period reported. This reflects the stockmarket downturn and higher bond yields. The impact of this is to reduce insurers’ own funds but also to reduce their exposure to market risk.
  • Risk margins have reduced significantly this year owing to the large increase in risk free rates. This is ahead of the material reductions to the risk margin proposed under the Solvency UK reforms which are now expected to come into effect before the 2023 year end.
  • With the fall in own funds more than offset by a fall in technical provisions, solvency ratios have improved over 2022. They will improve significantly further assuming the proposed changes to the risk margin are implemented.
  • There is an expectation that the increased capital resources brought about by the proposed reforms will allow more investment in “productive assets” such as social infrastructure and green energy.

For the full report, click here.

Suppose an organisation could focus on maximising happiness for customers and employees

… rather than maximising share price and the dividend, what would that organisation look like and how could it make this a virtue?

This article was produced using AI tool Notion AI, and is one of a series we are developing (see: What does FCA’s Consumer Duty mean for NEDs?).  The article was generated by posing the initial question, and a number of follow-up questions, as shown in the text; otherwise, no changes have been made to the text, even to correct the- what I consider annoying- ubiquitous spelling of words with z’s rather than s.  If you have any comments, please contact the human collaborator, martin@financialmutuals.org.

An organization that prioritizes the happiness of its customers and employees over profits would look vastly different from the traditional corporate model that prioritizes profit maximization. Such an organization would focus on creating a positive and supportive work environment that fosters employee satisfaction and well-being. This could involve offering competitive salaries and benefits, opportunities for career development and growth, and a culture that values employee input and feedback…

For the full article, follow this link: Suppose an organisation could focus on maximising happiness for customers and employees, 0323

Are leaders ready to control the use of Artificial Intelligence in their organisations?

December 2022

In the summer of 2022, AFM Board members joined over 700 other business leaders in contributing to a survey into how well businesses are adapting to AI. The resulting (first of its kind) report, compiled by Sue Turner, NED at Cornish Mutual, was published last week. You can read the full 2022 AI Governance Report here: https://financialmutuals.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/2022-AI-Governance-Report-c.pdf

Analysis of Solvency statements for 2021

The majority of Solvency and Financial Condition Reports (“SFCRs”) for 2021 have now been published.   As we know, the majority of readers of the SFCR for non-listed insurers tends to be other insurers and consultants.  Well, now you don’t need to, as AFM Associate member OAC has produced a summary of various metrics using the publicly available data for AFM members and other firms of a similar nature and size.

The data, using the reported SFCR only, covers 27 insurers where a published SFCR is available. Each insurer’s name is shown alongside the relevant data for that organisation, to aid comparison and contextualise the results.

Amongst the fascinating findings about the financial position of the sector, OAC estimates that the proposals from Treasury to amend the risk margin could release up to £150 million amongst the group.

To read more, follow SFCR Analysis_2021.

New report outlines plan to ‘future proof’ financial mutuals

18 November, 2021

A report published today by the Association of Financial Mutuals and Whitecap Consulting highlights the key areas of current and future focus for mutual insurers and friendly societies, and provides a set of strategic considerations for the CEOs and boards of these organisations.

Read more

Analysis of the strategic landscape for mutual insurers and friendly societies

July 2021

AFM is working in partnership with Whitecap Consulting and key industry partners to conduct an analysis of the strategic landscape for financial mutual organisations in the UK, which will culminate in a report later this year, with the findings to be presented at the AFM annual conference in October. Read more

AFM Guide to the GDPR

October 2020

In 2018 AFM formed a working group to produce a guide to implementing the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).  The guide was well-received by members in preparing them for the step change in data protection regulation at the time. Two years on, the framework has continued to evolve, and the UK Government has added further legislation, both to support GDPR and in advance of the end of the Brexit transition period.  The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has also been active and supported industry in interpreting the standards.

Given the above, we have revised our Guide, to incorporate our understanding of expectations today, and to provide more insight into current good practice. The Guide can be downloaded here.

Why cooperatives and mutuals can help “build back better” post-Covid 

September 2020

Diverse forms of ownership are necessary to help re-build after the Covid pandemic, says a new report. 

The Rebuilding Business for Society report–compiled by a group of co-operative and mutual trade associations–says they can play a leading role in reinvigorating communities, especially those left behind by economic or social change. 

Three key approaches outlined in the report include: 

  • Creating an enabling environment for forms of business ownership beyond shareholder owners
  • Providing an option for businesses that are seeking to recapitalise after the Covid pandemic to introduce employee or customer ownership, including repaying Government support out of future earnings
  • Supporting community-led economic development, particularly in the hardest-hit regions, to engage local people in incubating new forms of wealth creation which would support the Government’s ambitions to “level up” different regions.

For more, read the full report here.

Sustainability Policy

April 2020

AFM is committed to promoting sustainability. We strive to show respect for the environment and promote a broader sustainability agenda through our professional activities and interaction with members. Towards the end of 2019, we issued climate change guidance for members and introduced our online Sustainable Mutual Insurance Forum where members can highlight and discuss developments in the sustainability agenda.

We also aim to follow good sustainability practice ourselves, to reduce the environmental impacts of our activities as far as practically possible, and to help our members do the same.

To reinforce our commitment to do what we can to help protect the environment, we have set out our intentions in a Sustainability Policy.

Click here to view and download.

AFM NED Toolkit

April 2019

In April 2019, we launched our revised NED Toolkit, following an extensive rewrite to incorporate AFM’s new Corporate Governance Code and the Senior Managers & Certification Regime. The new Toolkit is a long document – a pdf version of the Toolkit can be downloaded in its entirety here or, for those interested in specific topics only, we have created a more manageable interactive online version which allows readers to jump to, and download, specific sections.

Click on the image below to open the interactive document. We have also developed a short form, themed version of the toolkit focused on Risk, which can be accessed here: AFM NED toolkit.Risk

AFM Members Staff Survey 2018

December 2018

In the summer of 2018 over 600 employees from across AFM members participated in a survey, exploring issues including the nature of ownership, culture and leadership in our members.  The survey followed a similar exercise in 2016, as well as a board leadership survey earlier in 2016. A report on key findings is available to view here.

AFM members with 15 or more responses also received an individualised report.  For more information, contact martin@financialmutuals.org.

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