As the former Lord Chief Justice Baron Gordon Hewart once said, “Justice should not only be done, but should manifestly and undoubtedly be seen to be done”.
Groupama says it is satisfied with the outcome
of its private investigation into intermediary Lloyd Manley and will reveal nothing. The Association of British Insurers is keeping mum about its investigation too.
Where's the justice in that?
Lloyd Manley admitted that it added unauthorised fees on top of some premiums to a group
of working men's clubs in the Stafforshire area.
It rewrote the premium figure and issued different policy documents, giving itself additional payments on top of the commission received from its insurers.
Lloyd Manley's other supplier, wholesale broker John W. Beard claims to have found 15 cases of unauthorised fees in the 23 Lloyd Manley-placed policies it has investigated. The number could rise.
The ABI and Groupama's wall of silence is mistaken. Groupama may have found problems, taken the intermediary to task, arranged for the over-charged clubs to be reimbursed the excess premiums they were charged. The ABI may have fined the intermediary, overseen the implementation of new procedures and even demanded that rogue staff were disciplined or even sacked.
But if they had done, they would say so, wouldn't they? What does this look like to those ripped off,
or to those fearing they have been ripped off. And what message does it send out to the thousands
of club members who will have the details of their club's overcharging explained to them in annual reports and open meetings.
They will think that Groupama and the rest of the insurance industry is colluding with a cover-up. The industry cannot afford that image. It would be better to publish than be damned.