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FCA dual pricing ban announcement gives fresh momentum to Sinn Féin legislation to ban practice in Irish market and reduce insurance prices – Pearse Doherty TD

28 May, 2021 - by Pearse Doherty TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Finance Pearse Doherty TD has welcomed today’s announcement by the Financial Conduct Authority that it will be banning dual pricing in the insurance market effective from 1st January 2022.

The decision by the British regulator to ban the practice, which identifies loyal customers and then charges them artificially high premiums, will save consumers up to €4.9 billion in the next 10 years.

The Donegal TD called on the Government to support his legislation that will ban the practice in the Irish market.

Teachta Doherty said:

“I welcome today’s announcement by the Financial Conduct Authority in Britain that it will be banning the discriminatory practice of dual pricing with effective from the beginning of 2022.

“The British regulator estimates that this ban will save consumers up to €4.9 billion over the next decade, increasing competition and fair value in the insurance market.

“In January I introduced legislation that would ban this price-gouging practice in the Irish market, reducing prices for consumers.

“This legislation passed Second Stage in the Dáil in February but has been delayed from moving to the next stage by Government for nine months.

“That delay is unacceptable and should now be removed.

“Today’s announcement by the FCA gives fresh momentum to my legislation and should be a wake up call for the Government.

“We cannot tolerate a situation whereby customers in Belfast and Derry have greater protections that customers in Dublin and Cork.

“Some of the biggest players in the Irish insurance market, including AXA, AIG, Aviva, RSA, Zurich and Allianz, will be subject to this ban in Britain.

“They should not be allowed to continue this price gouging practice here.

“In December the Central Bank found that dual pricing in the Irish market has resulted in 2.5 million policyholders paying €187 million more than the actual cost of their policies each year.

“7 out of 10 motorists and 8 out of 10 homeowners renew their insurance every year.

“They are victims of dual pricing and the loyalty penalty. It is time to ban it.

“Together with measures that would force insurers to pass on savings arising from the new Personal Injuries Guidelines, my legislation to ban dual pricing could transform the insurance market for the better; reducing prices for consumers.

“Today’s announcement by the FCA underlines the strength and urgency of Sinn Féin’s legislation to ban dual pricing once and for all.”

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