British Insurance Brokers' Association
01 October 2007
GIBC Digest - September 2007

 

PRESENT GIBC Members Name Representing Neil Thornton (Chairman) Yorkshire & Northern Ian D ickinson West of England Eamonn Browne West Midlands Peter Lennon Northern Ireland Denis Morgan Co-opted March 2007 Lorraine Dillett Scotland Stephen Webb East Midlands David Perry South London, Surrey & West Sussex BIBA Staff Name Position Peter Staddon Head of Technical Services Graeme Trudgill Manager Technical Services Paul Garland Membership Manager Steve White Head of Compliance & Training Lindsay Campbell Executive Assistant Guest – Part Meeting & Lunch Name Representing/Position David Smith Managing Director, Broker – Zurich UK GI APOLOGIES Name Representing/Position Eric Galbraith Chief Executive, BIBA Gary Ferguson Greater Manchester & Merseyside Mel Lyell Wessex Graham Lark Co-opted March 2007 CHAIRMAN’S REPORT Smaller Brokers’ Representation A meeting with BIBA’s Communications Department was scheduled to discuss ways of increasing the GIBC’s profile, together with better communication, particularly with smaller brokers, e.g. firms with less than 20 staff. It was agreed to change the name of the Committee to ‘Members’ Committee’. BIBA Manifesto Whilst recognising that BIBA’s Manifesto is externally focused, the GIBC offered assistance to promote certain aspects of the Manifesto by setting a small number of key objectives, with a view to better representing the smaller broker. The Committee was asked to email at least five objectives that they felt would be beneficial, perhaps with the assistance of their respective regional committees. One suggestion was for each GIBC member to contact at least one BIBA member per month, with less than 20 staff, to better understand their needs and requirements, at the same time promoting the Committee. REGULATION & COMPLIANCE Forensic Review The FSA has completed the first part of its forensic review of commission disclosure in the commercial market and has now commenced its cost benefit analysis, conducted by Charles River Associates. A decision is expected by the year end. S White reiterated the need for brokers to ensure they provide Terms of Engagement to their customers to help justify what they do. Treating Customers Fairly (TCF) The Regulatory Working Party was meeting on 13 September 2007 to look at the management information required from firms by end March 2008 to prove they are treating customers fairly. A guidance paper will be issued to members by end September 2007, providing suggestions of what firms may want to measure in order to prove TCF requirements. Commission Disclosure The 26 July edition of Insurance Times contained an article which completely mispresented BIBA’s position on commission disclosure. This article led to the publication of a critical letter in the 16 August edition. Following a strongly worded complaint to the Editor, Insurance Times agreed to the following appearing on its website: “We are very disappointed that you have chosen to print this letter. The letter follows on from your page 2 article in the 27th July edition. We have pointed out to you that the only accurate element of the article was the headline – the rest of the piece, including my quotation, is way off target. The discussion I had centered on a particular criticism we have of a proposal in Consultation Paper CP07/11. The FSA are proposing to remove the requirement to separately disclose fees to consumers when they buy ‘other products’. I described this approach as ‘ludicrous’ when you consider that the FSA are contemplating the possibility of introducing rules for commission disclosure to commercial customers. At no time did I even hint at support for mandatory disclosure of commission for either retail or commercial customers. Let me once again state that it is our view that greater transparency for commercial customers can be achieved by the market of its own accord and we do not need further regulatory intervention or support mandatory disclosure. Steve White – BIBA” ICOB The FSA has published its proposals for changes to the ICOB rules and BIBA has met with the ICOB Policy Team ahead of formally responding to the Consultation Paper. BIBA’s view is that customers should be entitled to the same disclosures regardless of where they buy their insurance and are disappointed that the FSA does not appear to agree. BIBA’s draft response to the FSA’s Consultation Paper CP07/11 is available from the BIBA website. TRAINING All programmed regional training courses in future will be run under the Broker Academy brand, commencing January 2008. Individual regions will have significant input into which courses are run, where and when. Regions will be able to promote courses in their respective regions, if they wish. During the autumn, each region will be visited by Searchlight/BIBA to consult on individual requirements and procedures and the way forward in order to meet their local training needs. Broker Academy training course fees will be set at £99 for early bookings and £120 thereafter, making an average of £110 per person. VAT will not be added to these prices. Particular regions had historically charged considerably less for their training courses and concern was therefore raised regarding the possibility of having to subsidise training courses in order to make them financially viable. The London programme will be outsourced and run under the Broker Academy brand from 2009. Regrettably, it had therefore proved necessary to make one staff redundancy at BIBA House. SCHEMES & FACILITIES All Scheme Providers’ Meeting The next Scheme Providers’ meeting will be held on 5 November 2007 at BIBA House. Travel Insurance It was agreed that BIBA should move its travel scheme to Tokio Marine, giving Arch 90 days notice with immediate effect, subject to Chief Executive approval. Assurances from Alistair Blundell that everything will be in place in time and BIBA has the full support of his team, will be requested. Personal Accident & Business Travel Proposals for a combined scheme will be requested from CNA, Tokio Marine, Ace and Towergate. A tender document will be sent to these companies. Premium Credit BIBA is meeting with Premium Credit on 18 September 2007 to discuss various issues. Meantime, BIBA will continue to discuss the scheme with alternative providers. Credit Card Payments Rather than offer members a facility via a member, the GIBC had previously suggested that BIBA approach various merchant service providers in an effort to secure an enhanced offering for its members. This will be discussed with Premium Credit on 18 September 2007. The search for alternative tenders continues. Criminal Records In the process of obtaining further information for further discussion. Identity Fraud Protection The scheme would provide £25k as a stand-alone policy to protect against identity fraud. It was agreed to investigate this further and ascertain potential costs. BIBA Aggregator Internet Site for Members to become Distribution Panel Members’ products/schemes are placed on an internet site and aggregated to provide a distribution portal for members’ products, including quoting, issue, mid-term adjustments payment and renewal process. It was agreed to investigate this further. Declined Schemes * Block of Flats * Marketing Support Scheme * Risk Management Platform * PI Insurance for Transport Industry * Crisis Management – The Battle Baton * Business Continuity Consulting BIBA Property Committee A digest of the Property Committee minutes will be available via the BIBA website. Travel Insurance - Regulation BIBA’s lobbying efforts have resulted in sales of all travel insurance policies requiring to be regulated from 2009. HM Treasury and the FSA had both responded positively to BIBA’s formal paper, which they followed up with questions, and BIBA has now responded to these questions. HM Treasury is now working on the “next steps”. COMMUNICATIONS Media Relations July and August saw a significant increase in media coverage with BIBA undertaking a record number of TV and radio interviews. The Association received numerous mentions in the national press and broadcast interviews, including The Guardian, The Observer, The Times, The Daily Telegraph and Daily Express. BIBA is now looking to build on this increased coverage through its Pro Broker Campaign. Pro Broker Campaign Fleishman Hillard urgently require regional help and support in providing case studies on both personal lines and commercial to promote the value of brokers’ advice. GIBC members were each asked to provide BIBA with a minimum of two case studies, as soon as possible, to ensure each region receives a good level of media coverage. Part of this process will involve meetings with local MPs and press, together with members of the BIBA Board and the respective Regional Chairman. Subsidence The Subsidence Forum is holding an event on 10 October 2007 in Watford. Anyone with any subsidence claims experience or who would be willing to speak at the event should contact Steve Foulsham. Flood Affected Areas Concern was raised regarding the recent announcement of £10k excesses by certain insurers, just weeks after the recent floods. It was noted that for every insurer this applied to there were new insurers prepared to provide alternative cover and as the trade body, BIBA should be actively promoting its members in this area. MEMBERSHIP & NEW MEMBERS Associate Membership In an effort to further grow membership, it was agreed that all scheme providers should automatically become Associate Members of BIBA, with the appropriate fee split between Schemes and Membership Departments. CONFERENCE From BIBA 2008 the BIBA Bursary Scheme will cease altogether and free registrations will be available to all BIBA members. GIBC WORKING LUNCHES David Smith, Managing Director, Zurich UK GI, joined the meeting and provided an interesting insight into Zurich’s activities. ANY OTHER BUSINESS CNA Jo hn Watson, National Sales Director, and Lindsay Taylor, UK & Ireland Regional Manager, were scheduled to attend the 16 January 2008 GIBC meeting/lunch. However, due to a number of recent departures from CNA, P Staddon will check to see if this is still the case. Compliance Manual - Reoccurring Email to Members A reoccurring email with regard to compliance manual renewals had been received by members the following week, which had been caused by a problem with one particular member’s email server continually forwarding the message to recipients. BIBA’s IT consultants are working with the member involved to rectify the problem and an official apology has been sent to the membership.


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