February 6, 2014

Along with preposterous, ludicrous has long been one of Bankstone News’ favourite words. Imagine our excitement, then, on reading in leading trade journal Posty Magazine that cheese-eating insurance giant AXA is demanding the immediate substantiation or withdrawal of some “ludicrous motor profit allegations” made by Thompson Twins Solicitors.

The cause of AXA’s umbrage is a report submitted to the Transport Select Committee in which Thompsons alleged that many insurers are only pretending to be losing money hand over fist in the UK motor market and are actually doing very nicely, thank you very much, and passing on vast dividends to their greedy shareholders at the expense of decent honest motorists up and down the land.

Thompsons challenged AXA and yellow insurer Uvavu to “come clean” and reveal exactly how much money they are making from UK motor policyholders. The law firm further recommended that the two insurers should be referred to the FCA “for a review of their adherence to IFRS Standard 8 on segmental reporting,” suggesting that an alleged failure to disclose motor market profitability separately betrays some sinister purpose.

AXA this week hit back, challenging Thompsons to produce evidence to substantiate their outrageous allegations. “In common with all UK insurance companies,” an AXA spokesperson insisted, in a sentence cut conspicuously asunder for the standard conventions of English grammar, “full financial returns are additionally made to UK regulators and this information is publicly available.”

That is as may be, Thompsons hit back, insisting that “AXA financial statements do not report profits for UK car insurance separately,” which, it suspects, contravenes the stipulation in IFRS 8 that insurers should report separately on any operating segment that contributes 10% or more to its overall profit and that – in any case -there is an additional requirement to publish any figures that are ‘useful’ or ‘of continuing significance’ (a widely drawn requirement, if ever Bankstone News heard one).

Is it ludicrous, or even unusual, Thompsons “policy head” Tom Jones, demanded, to ask “how much money AXA make out of UK motorists” while constantly whinging about weak-necked Britain’s out of control compensation culture? Jones himself would doubtless respond to his own rhetorical question with a frank averal that it’s not ludicrous and, indeed, it’s not unusual.

Hamilton-burr-duel


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