Record numbers for the Biba conference disprove the idea of a declining broker channel, says Eric Galbraith

The record numbers of brokers signing up for the Biba conference disproves the idea that the broking and intermediary channel is in decline.

The UK insurance industry's largest conference, to be held in Glasgow on 19-21 May and organised by Biba, is where the broking and intermediary distribution channel demonstrates its commitment to regulation and confirms its position as the consumers' preferred choice.

This year, the conference theme, Facing the Future, is exactly what brokers and intermediaries are good at.

The broking and intermediary channel has been subject to many challenges over the years, including:

  • access to our customers being threatened
  • cost of distribution increases
  • margins being constantly squeezed.
  • Despite this, the growth and strength of our distribution channel has been sustained, but we must not be complacent.

    In the new regulatory environment, brokers and intermediaries need a strong voice and the Biba conference is an excellent platform to demonstrate this.

    It is easy to dismiss it as "yet another" conference or to convince ourselves that we don't have time to get involved, but that is exactly what we need to do if we are to be recognised as the best.

    Only by involvement and engagement with industry issues can we change things for the better.

    This year's Biba conference addresses key topics such as the stark choices facing brokers, compliance, training and competence, with plenary presentations on the future of risk, teamwork and communications.

    All of the presentations address the subject of facing the future and looking forward with confidence.

    This year's record numbers for the Biba conference demonstrate the strength of our distribution channel and disprove the idea that the broking and intermediary channel is in decline.

  • Eric Galbraith is chief executive of Biba
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