Fraud costs insurers '£4m a day'
Insurance fraud costs UK insurers some £4 million a day, new research has indicated.A survey by the Association of British Insurers (ABI) found that one in ten adults had admitted to filing a fraudulent insurance claim.The trade body said that their dishonesty was adding an average of almost £40 to the annual premiums of other policyholders and costing the industry £1.6 billion a year.Policyholders were most likely to lie about insurance claims related to their properties, the ABI survey of almost 7,000 people found.About half the total cost of dishonest claims each year relate to home contents and building insurance, the association confirmed.Meanwhile opportunistic fraud, where a claimant increases the true price of an item that has been damaged, is estimated to cost insurers more than £800 million annually.Commenting on the research, ABI's director of general insurance and health, Nick Starling, said: "Honest customers should not have to pay for the cheats."These figures highlight that greater deterrents, such as criminal prosecutions, are needed to discourage fraud. This is why we are calling for police forces to be given more resources so that fraud can be treated with the seriousness it deserves," he added, stressing that the recently established Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) was already having a "significant impact" on tackling organised insurance fraud.The IFB, launched by the insurance industry in July 2006, welcomed the government's response to the Fraud Review in March, but warned that greater police resources were needed on a national scale to maximise its own impact through a collaboration with law enforcement authorities.
Committee of MPs blame Lloyds Bank for HBOS debacle
Despite the fact that Lloyds Bank was invited to make an offer HBOS by the UK government, an influential committee of MPs has decided that Lloyds Bank directors were directly at fault for any issues which have arisen since the takeover. This despite the fact that Gordon Brown personally intervened and was highly influential in bringing together Lloyds Bank and HBOS to create what would have been t...Read More
Were the government aware of problems in Iceland back in April?
As the situation in Iceland appears to be coming a little clearer there have been suggestions that the UK government were concerned about the financial system in the country as long ago as April this year. However, despite rumoured concerns within government and the Bank of England no warning was passed to local authorities, business or the financial world and taxpayer's funds were readily deposit...Read More
What if government forecasts for the economy are wrong?
While the UK budget last week received very mixed reviews in the financial press, we continue to see a flurry of third-party reports on the UK economy suggesting the worst may be yet to come. When you consider these reports against Alistair Darling's "rose tinted glasses" review of the UK economy and the short term potential for a recovery, many are asking what will happen if the UK government for...Read More
Sainsbury warns against potential VAT rise
Justin King, the chief executive of J. Sainsbury, has today warned the incoming UK government to refrain from increasing VAT amid speculation it could be an option considered by David Cameron's coalition government. There is intense speculation that VAT could be increased to 20% in order to replenish the UK coffers but this could stunt growth in the short term and potentially push the UK economy b...Read More
Bank of England and ECB leave rates on hold
With the euro zone under more and more pressure and the debt markets still struggling to pull clear of the recent turmoil the European Central Bank yesterday confirmed that rates will remain unchanged for the foreseeable future. This was a situation facing the Bank of England only hours earlier where the MPC decided to maintain UK rates of 0.5%. So what are the prospects for European and UK base r...Read More