Blog from Andrew Gibbons on why BIBA’s Manifesto matters to smaller brokers
13th February 2017
Andrew Gibbons, Chair of BIBA’s Smaller Brokers’ Advisory Board, says smaller brokers should take advantage of the position BIBA has to speak up for them
Why would an ex-broker confessing that he was never a BIBA member be so important to smaller brokers?
This is because the ex-broker was MP Craig Tracey who was standing in the Houses of Parliament launching BIBA’s 2017 Manifesto themed this year as ‘Enabling the Insurance Market’.
Funnily enough he was fully supporting BIBA’s lobbying and its Manifesto calls to address the unfair cost of regulation.
In fact, it was this burden that drove him out of broking.
He eased any tension that may have been in the room about his non-membership , by acknowledging that he now appreciates that he should have been a BIBA member, and interestingly that he may still be in business today had he been.
But his point about regulation is a very serious one. The cost of regulation is driving brokers out of business.
It is outrageous.
The cost of regulation for smaller brokers has increased by 70%, from 4% to 6.8% of income, since the FCA started in 2013. This is unjustified, has to be tackled and cannot continue.
So who else is in a position to speak up for smaller brokers if not their trade body?
With this in mind, it is worth noting that BIBA can be a big source of help for brokers who want to contribute to the FCA’s mission statement consultation on its strategy and day-to-day work over the coming years.
The Mission Statement presents an opportunity to stop writing new rules and start helping firms understand and embed existing ones – less regulation, more supervision.
Brexit may seem abstract to some but there are unintended consequences that all firms should be thinking about.
Any smaller brokers who feel divorced from the impact of Brexit might be surprised that BIBA’s Manifesto also has ten pages dedicated to it.
Even if they don’t actively trade in the EU, what about personal clients travelling aboard needing car and travel insurance? And what about their commercial clients actually exporting and importing?
How much of an impact is as yet unknown but this is likely to cause uncertainty and lead to changes in the way brokers advise clients.
So for BIBA and us smaller brokers, I think it’s positive that Craig Tracey made the move to politics so that we have ‘one of us’ on the inside.
And for those who are not a member of Biba, take note of Craig’s experience.
We should all be working with BIBA to progress the many Manifesto issues, because they are very important to enabling the insurance market for smaller brokers.
Mason Owen Financial Services