Released today by PriceWaterhouseCoopers, their annual survey of the South African insurance market. This one titled, Emerging Trends and Issues in South African Insurance 2006. Barry Stott is PwC's lead financial services partner and he joins us on the line from Johannesburg.

Good evening Chris. The key points to emerge from the survey is the industry going forward see some important changes in customer relationship management, prices, they are going to price their products more competitively and there will be more transparency in the fees and charges associated with the products.

The long-term industry has gone through a spate of negative publicity and high on the items that keep executives awake at night is image and reputation and rebuilding public trust.

Chris I believe if you analyse the survey, one of the areas that they forecast a lot of attention being given to in the future is technology. Now you can only have an effective customer relationship management programme through technology, in other words, computer software.

They will be spending money on ensuring they have the technology to service the customers and technology is not only the customer relationship management computer type programs but also ensuring they have efficient client service centres, the type of centre that you phone in with your complaint.

The type of pressure that you are talking about applies very much in the life business, the long-term area. What about the short-term side of the industry?

I think it applies equally. The short-term industry is also focusing on retaining existing customers and building customer bases. One of the differences that we note in the short-term industry is their concern about reaching the targets in the financial sector charter. They believe that is quite a challenge.

I wondered about that because there are some interesting challenges related to that. Generally speaking, the industry taking heat but do you have a sense that it is going to rebound?

I have no doubt about that. In fact if you look at the results for the industry through to December 2005, even though they were under pressure on the retirement annuity side, the sales of the other product's performed admirably and the profits were good. I would expect that trend to continue and they will reinvent themselves on the retirement annuity side.

Regulatory pressure has been identified as one of the key concerns of the industry, the cost of compliance with Fica. I believe that the industry believe in the long-running that this will be good for the industry and that it will improve value of the products and it will improve the customer relationship and the transparency of the industry.

Obviously it will have a negative effect from the point of view of the complexity of serving customers, turnaround time and time to take products to market.

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