While 2024 will undoubtedly continue to set fresh challenges alongside the usual suspects, there is certainly space for optimism

By Matt Scott


Confidence is high for the future of the UK financial services industry.

That’s the headline finding of a KPMG survey published earlier this month (3 January 2024) that found some 87% of senior executives were “confident” when it comes to overall business growth in the first quarter of 2024.

For insurance executives, this figure stood at 79%.

Dig a little deeper, however, and the picture may not be as rosy as it first seems.

Indeed, the survey found that more than half (56%) of respondents believed inflationary pressures would continue to pose the biggest challenge for their business over the first three months of this year.

And the issue of inflation is felt particularly keenly by the insurance industry given the impact it has on the cost of claims and, ultimately, an insurer’s loss ratio and bottom line.

Fighting for position 

The most worrying finding of the survey, however, may just be the stat that some 53% of insurance executives – yes, more than half – are concerned that the UK may not be able to maintain its position as a global financial centre over the next three years.

For banking executives, this figure was much different, with some 84% remaining confident that the UK can maintain its power on a global scale.

This lack of faith in the insurance sector will have undoubtedly been affected by the impact of Brexit.

The end of passporting means UK-based insurers are no longer able to write business for risks based across the European Union, limiting the impact that the UKGI industry can have on the global marketplace.

Lloyd’s of London – that long-held symbol of the UK’s global insurance industry – has even been affected, forced to set up a Belgian office in order to continue writing risks into European markets.

This is not to say that the UK’s place on the global stage is doomed.

US broking giants certainly have optimism in the sector if their continued interest in acquiring UK-based firms is anything to go by.

Indeed, Marshberry chief executive John Welper predicts that the next five years will see “more transformative change than there has been in the last 25,” as the Americans continue their acquisition spree in the UK and Western Europe.

Like others in UKGI, these incoming brokers will continue to be dogged by the ever-present and ever-challenging war for talent that has weighed on the industry for so long.

But while 2024 will undoubtedly continue to set fresh challenges alongside the usual suspects, there is certainly space for optimism.

Here’s to a happy and prosperous 2024 for the industry and all of you.