It’s all change here at BIBA as I take Steve’s framed Saracens rugby shirt off the office wall and package it up for its onward journey to the White residence.
But that’s not the only change. BIBA brokers are experiencing a time of great change, with regulation, technology, trading methods, sustainability, climate, the growth of MGAs, different threats to their customers, new Government ministers and new legislation, for example in the shape of the Financial Services and Markets Act (FSMA) and the incoming Protect Duty (Martyn’s Law).
But that is why brokers work with BIBA, to take on these changes with common goals. There have been many changes that we have tackled together over the years, seeking a change for the better, whether it is proposing elements of the Insurance Act (such as terms not relevant to the actual loss) or working to change the law to allow electronic motor insurance certificates. For a long time, the collective voice of insurance brokers has been able to make positive changes. Behind the scenes we’ve also worked to avert change that would have negative consequences, but that doesn’t often make the headlines.
We, as a profession or industry - however it’s viewed - usually achieve the most constructive changes when we pull in the same direction. I certainly welcome approaches from all sectors as I take up this post at BIBA and aim for a period of allyship and unity.
I look forward to taking on ideas from anyone connected to our sector on the changes you want or that you wish to avoid. I’m keen to hear your views on all subjects impacting brokers – for example are you wary of AI or keen to embrace it? We can certainly help point brokers in the right direction if there is a development or issue they do want to explore
I hope to see even more brokers become part of the conversation, perhaps by joining a BIBA Committee or Advisory Board or many other ways of engaging with us. I really welcomed the recent influx of new volunteers.
Brokers can find out exactly what we do in our 2023 Tour of the Regions where the BIBA team visits a dozen venues across the UK. I really look forward to the ‘Town Hall’ element, where my colleagues and I, including David Sparkes and the commercial team, get to hear and debate your important views.
I personally will help BIBA to do our best to help members through coming changes – a new project to provide a new methodology and framework to demonstrate fair value for a broker’s service will be ready during September and our new guide on the Consumer Duty has just been launched.
I will also continue the conversation with the FCA and FSCS about reform of the fee charging structure. They have acknowledged that the polluter should pay, and with general insurance distribution claims on the fund reducing by £5m to just £2m there is more evidence than ever that we are a low-risk sector that has never breached our ‘pot’ and now is the time for change. We continue to request that the FCA bring forward the consultation paper at the earliest opportunity.
We will be working with HM Treasury on the incoming metrics that will ensure future scrutiny of the new growth and international competitiveness objective for the FCA is paired with tailored, measurable accountability, leading to the proportionate regulation we all want to see.
In summary, three overarching things I want us to help members with are:
• Regulation and legislation – supporting members with compliance as well as working with the regulator and Government to deliver more proportionate regulation and laws going forwards.
• Investment in operational support– Providing the best support to help members with new guidance, access to new markets, schemes and facilities and other matters that you raise.
• The future – initiatives such as supporting our young brokers and recruiting talent to our sector, issues on sustainability and helping you with your ESG journeys, flooding, and embracing new technology. In essence, we want to make sure that we help you be best prepared for the future that lies ahead for you, your clients and our sector.
I will provide greater investment for members, particularly on regulation and in public affairs and I aim to bring members closer to the decision makers as we go forwards.
So, what picture will I hang in that space on the wall? You can find out by visiting our offices for a coffee, chat and to say hi to the BIBA team, we would love to see you.