Biba consultation on raising standards closes next week

Biba moved a step closer to adopting a code of conduct after most of the members who have responded to its consultation on professionalism so far indicated they want professional standards to improve.

Of the 75% of brokers that told the trade association they believed standards needed to be raised, some 97% said that Biba should also have a role in achieving this.

Currently, Biba has no conduct obligation on its members other than that they maintain their regulatory permissions.

It is looking to gauge the level of support from members as to whether industry standards need to be improved, and if so, the best way to achieve it.

Chief executive Steve White did not reveal how many brokers had responded so far, but he said early signs suggested that members wanted the trade body to be more involved.

“We went into this consultation with an open mind. If the feedback from members suggests there is a role that we should be more involved in, we will convene another working group and re-consult on what that should look like,” White said.

“It looks like we will have that green light, but that is a decision a board has to take. We are not going to rush into anything because what we do has to be right.

“We are pleased with the level of engagement from members, but it is important that as many members as possible give us their views.”

Some of the options it is consulting on include: getting members to adhere to the CII code of ethics, developing training material around the FCA’s 11 principles of business, encouraging firms to create a customer charter or combining industry standards that already exist, into a voluntary or compulsory code.

Biba said it did not intend that the adoption of a code would impose a significant extra burden, as its primary aim would be to “codify” standards its members are familiar with.

The consultation, which closes next week Thursday 14 August, was launched nearly three months ago during Biba’s annual conference in Manchester.

The launch came two weeks after the Insurance Brokers Standards council (IBSC) unveiled its own code for individual broker members to adhere to.

To complete the Biba online survey, members should visit https://membership.biba.org.uk/Emailer/r.asp?l=65317&s=1453855&c=3868.

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