18. Barclays Insurance Services Company
Fee and commission income (2000): £41.5m

Pre-tax profit (2000): £34.3m

Address: 8 Bedford Park
Tel: 020 8253 3000
Fax: 020 8 ...

18. Barclays Insurance Services Company
Fee and commission income (2000): £41.5m

Pre-tax profit (2000): £34.3m

Address: 8 Bedford Park
Tel: 020 8253 3000
Fax: 020 8681 4558

website: www.bisco.barclays.co.uk

History: Barclays Insurance Services Company Limited, now incorporating all divisions of Woolwich Insurance Services Limited are insurance intermediaries and provide a full range of general insurance products which include:

  • Household insurance - buildings and contents

  • Car insurance

  • Travel insurance

  • Healthcare - hospital cash plans and personal accident plans.

    These products are available to both customers and non-customers with some of them being available over the counter at branch as well as over the phone.

    Following the acquisition in 2000 of Woolwich plc by Barclays, the two operations have been consolidated in one site. Both intermediaries are headed by Derek Coles, with John Simpson appointed as chief operating officer of the combined operation. It is intended that both Barclays and Woolwich brands will be retained and marketed to the appropriate sectors. Its current customer base is in excess of 1 million.

    Open Plan Select was launched by Woolwich in January 1999 offering Open Plan customers free family annual travel insurance as part of the home insurance package. In May 1999 Pay & Go travel insurance was launched, allowing on the spot purchase of travel insurance through the Barclays branch network.

    In August 2000 Barclays launched Premier Home Insurance, it's high net worth home insurance product, offering specialist cover to customers with high sums insured in addition to other specialist cover, such as second and overseas homes, pet, equine, and small craft cover.

    Most recently, it implements and administers the Barclaycard Direct proposition, which includes household, motor and travel propositions.

    Chief officer: Derek Coles, managing director; John Simpson ACII, chief operating officer

    Biographies: Derek Coles joined Barclays International in 1978 and has since worked in a number of the group's businesses.

    Prior to his recent appointment as managing director, he was head of the group's sourcing for mortgages, general insurance, life and pensions, which he joined in October 1999.

    Coles joined the retail bank's Sourcing Executive in January 2000 and has led a number of product sourcing initiatives around mortgages, general insurance, life and pensions. Most notably, he played a key role in the recent Legal & General alliance. Since the Woolwich acquisition, he has led, and been responsible fo,r the consolidation of the group's two intermediaries, Woolwich Insurance Services (WIS) and Barclays Insurance Services Company (BISCO).

    Prior to joining the general insurance and life and pensions businesses, Coles has held a number of positions in Barclaycard, Corporate Bank and the group's international payments business. He is a qualified marketeer and member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing.

    John Simpson joined the Woolwich in 1990 to manage insurance product development, pricing and marketing. Since then he has introduced motor, travel and pet insurance products, developed and managed a 50-branch insurance retail network, taken responsibility for the group's own insurances and it's mortgage indemnity arrangements.

    He has also managed the head office call centre and been responsible for the relationship with Gresham, the underwriting partnership between Woolwich and Legal & General. In addition, he pioneered the introduction of the Oracle database for underwriting analysis. He was appointed operations director in 2000.

    For eight years prior to joining the Woolwich, Simpson worked for Sentry/Cloverleaf (AGF) in various positions, in both motor and household, including technical underwriting, processing, and on the road as a sales inspector servicing intermediaries.

    Simpson began his insurance career in 1973 working for a high street broker where, during nine years, he learnt all aspects of

    general insurance and invaluable insight into face-to-face customer experience and gained his Associateship (ACII).

    Technology: The implementation of a thin client-based strategic desktop solution for the Croydon-based operation centre based on Citrix Terminal Server.

    The solution resolves response time issues relating to the use of older PC equipment, reduces the ongoing desktop support costs and provides a robust flexible infrastructure to support the business as it develops. The solution has been successfully used in facilitating the move to a consolidated business model for both Barclays and Woolwich Insurance processing centres.

    In March 2002, Verint Systems' `Ultra' call recording was implemented in order to monitor all customer calls being received by our call centre in order to improve overall agent performance and resolve customer disputes.

    In May 2002, Respond 3 was implemented to address FSA requirements and to improve the monitoring and reporting of complaints dealt with by the Customer Relations Unit.

    Main lines of business: Household, car, travel, pet and healthcare insurance.

    Special schemes: Small craft, personal accident, caravan as an extension to home insurance. Premier Home Insurance.

    Number of UK branches: Over 2,100 UK outlets of Barclays Bank and Woolwich.

    Number of employees (average for 2001): 307

    Major shareholders: Barclays Bank plc

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