BIBA launches code of conduct and begins discussions to join forces with IBSC

13th May 2015

The British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) has launched its voluntary code of conduct for members. Steve White, BIBA’s Chief Executive launched the code in his opening address at the BIBA conference in Manchester.  He also announced that discussions have opened with the Insurance Brokers’ Standards Council (IBSC) to explore how the two bodies can join forces to create a single voluntary code of conduct and guidance for insurance brokers.

Steve told brokers that “a working party involving both organisations has been established to consider how best to achieve this and it is expected that matters will be finalised well before we meet again at BIBA 2016.”

In the meantime, BIBA has followed the clear mandate given by members who responded to its ‘Pathway to Raised Standards’ consultation last year to develop a voluntary code of conduct.

Steve told members that it would “codify existing requirements rather than creating new obligations, underpinned by guidance” and that it is now available on BIBA’s website or from the BIBA exhibition at the event.

In support of BIBA’s voluntary code of conduct, Martin Wheatley, Chief Executive of the Financial Conduct Authority, said: “We welcome the launch of BIBA’s Code of Conduct for insurance intermediaries. The Code echoes our own Principles for Business and will be a useful tool in clarifying both our and BIBA’s expectations of insurance intermediaries. Initiatives such as this demonstrate the important role that organisations like BIBA can play in raising industry standards to help ensure good consumer outcomes.”

The voluntary code stems from BIBA’s 2011 strategic review which highlighted that BIBA should consider its role in the debate around raising standards. Members have extensively engaged with BIBA on this issue and the new voluntary code is a codification of existing rules and requirements that are enforced and policed by the regulator and Chartered Insurance Institute.

Commenting on the discussions between BIBA and the IBSC, Stephen Bamforth, Senior Partner and Group Chief Executive at Griffiths & Armour, said: “For customer clarity and the collective health and reputation of the insurance broking profession, we welcome today’s announcement.”

Paul Anscombe, Managing Director of James Hallam Insurance Brokers, commented: “This is a positive step in the standards debate for insurance brokers and I look forward to working with Steve and the team at BIBA.”

Steve said the move was a ‘significant and important’ step and thanked the members who responded to the consultation, the BIBA committees and advisory boards, and the IBSC for their efforts to reach this point. He finished on the subject by urging members to “embrace this new initiative and play our part in defining standards.”

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Notes to editors

  1. Click here to view Steve White’s opening address
  2. Click here to view code of conduct
  3.  Previous press releases relating to BIBA’s Pathway to Raised Standards –
    –  16 September 2014 – Members show support for voluntary BIBA code of conduct – click here
    –   14 May 2014 – BIBA launches ‘A Pathway to Raised Standards’ member consultation – click here
  4. . For further information please contact:BIBA press office:
    Leighann Forsyth, Head of Communications
    07917 738727
    forsythl@biba.org.uk
  5. . About British Insurance Brokers’ Association

The British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) is the UK’s leading general insurance intermediary organisation representing the interests of insurance brokers, intermediaries and their customers.

BIBA membership includes just under 2,000 regulated firms having merged with the Institute of Insurance Brokers (IIB) in November 2011.

General insurance brokers contribute 1% of GDP to the UK economy and BIBA brokers employ more than 100,000 staff.

54% of all general insurance is sold by an insurance broker and they arrange 79% of all commercial insurance business.

Insurance brokers put the client’s interests first, providing advice, access to suitable insurance protection and risk management.

BIBA helps more than 400,000 people a year to access insurance protection through its Find a Broker service, both online and via the telephone.

BIBA is the voice of the industry advising members, the regulators, consumer bodies and other stakeholders on key insurance issues.