The book addresses a topic at the intersection of two heavily regulated sectors: insurance and investment services. Until recently, scholars and professionals have approached insurance and investment services as two separate categories in the financial services sector, and as being governed by separate regulatory frameworks. In practice, however, the boundaries were and are blurred, a reality that regulators have begun to recognize and address in their more recent regulatory texts.
The first part of the book approaches the new standards applicable to investment products based on insurance: insurance-based investment products (IBIPs). These rules are harmonized across the EU. The rationale behind this new definition is provided, together with a description of these products’ limitations. The analysis addresses the new rules and explores the legal regime and relevant standards applicable to IBIPs. The organizational rules concerning the design and distribution of IBIPs are also examined, and the book highlights e.g. how these rules are inspired by the principles of conduct. In closing, the ADR systems are analysed, in order to ascertain whether or not they can offer an effective tool for settling disputes over these products.
In turn, the second part focuses on the liability for distribution of IBIPs, which ranks as one of the most conspicuous and relatively new legal phenomena, but at the same time, represents an exceptionally important field of civil liability in today’s world. Liability is still regulated at the national level. Thus, the four largest life insurance markets in the EU are considered, along with the largest emerging market for life insurance. The chapters on national laws also consider whether, and if so, how the new harmonized rules on IBIPs are being combined with those already in force in the jurisdictions considered. The goal is to determine whether the new rules are likely to change the doctrine and case law approach to these products, or whether the European legislators’ choices have no real impact on the protection of clients.