Friday, December 17, 2004 / World / UK - Report calls for more scrutiny of actuaries - Report calls for more scrutiny of actuaries: (Registration required.)

"The UK actuarial profession, which exerts enormous influence over how people save for the long-term, is to be regulated for the first time under proposals unveiled on Friday..........

"'An actuary who, in the early 1990's, persisted with forecasts of inflation and interest rates that in the event turned out to be correct would at that time have lost a substantial among of credibility,' Sir Derek (Morris, leader of the government inquiry) said.

"By the late 1990's and early 2000, it had become more widely apparent that low investment returns and inflation were here to stay for some time, and the profession reacted far too slowly, he concluded.

"'Actuaries, as the relevant experts, were too slow to adjust to the changing circumstances; were, with some exceptions too inflexible to consider or reflect sufficiently on the likelihood or the consequences of large adverse movements,' and therefore painted a rosier view of events than turned out to be the case, he said."

I suspect I have not paid enough attention to the actuarial certification of knowledge, especially demographic and financial knowledge. It is important, and I suspect that actuaries have a very hard job. If the UK's regulation of actuaries is deficient, what must the regulation be like in developing nations?

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