The Chartered Insurance Institute will aim to return to surplus by the end of 2023, CII CEO Alan Vallance pledged at the organisation’s annual general meeting on Tuesday.
“Going forward, we need to rebalance the group’s cost base and most importantly we must return the CII operating entity to a surplus as soon as possible,” Vallance said.
The organisation has “taken just over” £2 million from the planned 2022 cost base, Vallance confirmed.
“This is a great start but there is more work to do,” he said. “My aim is that we bring the CII entity back to surplus by the end of 2023.”
Past CII vice presidents Grant Scott and Branko Bjelobaba had attempted to table an emergency motion demanding an independent audit of the group going back to 2016; however, the decision to vote on this was vetoed by members at the AGM.
The CII shot down concerns raised with Insurance Business by a source in attendance who said they had heard that at least one online attendee was not able to vote on the audit motion due to technical issues with its platform; a spokesperson confirmed that no-one had reported online voting issues to the organisation.
The source suggested that just under 40% of votes cast had been in favour of allowing a vote on the motion to proceed, meaning more than 60% were not in favour.
Looking forward, the source commented that they were hoping for “greater transparency” from the organisation on its financial situation, and praised newcomer Vallance, who they said appeared to have acknowledged the financial challenge facing the organisation and the need for improvement.
The audit call came as concerns from some have mounted over the organisation’s financial state, with the body having reported a total deficit of £4.4 million in 2021, just a marginal improvement on its deficit of £4.9 million in 2020.
Criticism has continued over the group’s 2018 sale of its historic Aldermanbury headquarters – which netted it £19 million – under previous CII CEO Sian Fisher, with concerns raised over the CII’s shrinking assets and the buy-in of a defined benefit pension fund to Legal & General.
Its annual report also revealed an unpaid “historic” tax bill dating back to 2021, with its net corporation tax charge for the year spiking to £1.98 million, an adjustment of £1.35 million.
“A further estimate of £1.1 million has been disclosed […] as being possible but not yet probable to result in a liability,” the group said in its 2021 financial statement.