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HMRC internal manual

General Insurance Manual

Regulatory framework: the prudential sourcebooks for insurers: IPRU(INS) and INSPRU)

The Interim prudential sourcebook for insurers (IPRU(INS))

At its inception, the FSA brought together the previous regulatory material on prudential requirements which applied to insurers, banks, and other firms carrying on financial services. It created a separate interim prudential sourcebook for each of the main financial sectors, with the intention of eventually consolidating prudential guidance for all sectors into a single integrated prudential sourcebook. The interim prudential sourcebook for insurers is referred to as IPRU(INS).

As the first step towards the consolidation, much of the material in IPRU(INS) was moved to the Integrated prudential sourcebook (PRU) in 2004 and some to the General Prudential sourcebook (GENPRU). But IPRU(INS) continues to deal with financial reporting matters. It is expected that IPRU(INS) will remain in force until the expected Europe-wide Directive under the Solvency II exercise comes into force, probably in 2012.

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The Integrated prudential sourcebook (PRU) and the Prudential sourcebook for insurers (INSPRU)

In view of the number of new Directives coming out of EU, in particular relating to banking, the FSA decided that, with effect from 1 December 2004, the then new Integrated prudential sourcebook (PRU) would apply initially only to insurers, mortgage firms and insurance intermediaries. Subsequently it was decided to keep the prudential sourcebooks separate. The insurance material in PRU was moved to the prudential sourcebook for insurers (INSPRU) which became effective from 1 January 2007, and PRU was withdrawn.

Most regulatory material for general insurers is now therefore to be found in INSPRU (GIM3120). The forms used in the regulatory return remain in Chapter 9 of IPRU(INS) (the Accounts and Statements Rules). GENPRU also still provides rules of general application to all firms, whether insurers or not.

With effect from 1 January 2005 the FSA also became responsible for the regulation of the sale of insurance products by insurance intermediaries, including insurers, to retail and commercial customers. These rules were initially set out in the Insurance: Conduct of Business sourcebook (ICOB), succeeded in January 2008 by ICOBS, the Insurance: New Conduct of Business sourcebook.