Watchdog’s dawn swoops on aviation insurance brokers

The City watchdog has begun an investigation into leading aviation industry insurance brokers over allegations of the sharing of confidential information, marking a rare move by the financial regulator to explore apparent wrongdoing in the sector.

Five brokers put out statements yesterday confirming that they were co-operating with an inquiry by the Financial Conduct Authority, whose officials have visited offices to collect evidence.

Aon, Jardine Lloyd Thompson, Marsh, UIB and Willis Towers Watson were visited by the FCA in a series of dawn raids this month, during which computers and other information were taken away by the regulator.

“The FCA indicated that it had reasonable grounds for suspecting that Marsh Limited and others have been sharing competitively sensitive information within the aviation (re)insurance sector,” Marsh said in a statement. The company said that it was co-operating with the investigation.

Aon said that it was “working diligently” with the FCA, but would not comment. Jardine Lloyd Thompson confirmed that JLT Specialty “was providing all appropriate assistance to the FCA”. Towers Watson said that it was “co-operating fully”.

Any regulated business found to have breached the rules faces a potential fine of up to 10 per cent of its annual global turnover.

The aviation insurance industry was worth about £1.5 billion in gross written premiums in 2015 to Lloyd’s of London and London-based insurers.