Biba to provide training to counter FSA crackdown on training and competence rules

Biba is to offer brokers training on teamwork and communication skills in a bid to help them abide by FSA rules.

The move is in response to the FSA's likely crackdown on firms that are failing to meet training and competence regulations.

Biba is planning to provide training on a range of so-called 'soft' business skills. These are likely to include communication, teamwork, negotiation and listening skills.

Management skills may also be offered.

It is anticipated the training package will be launched in the spring.

Steve White, regulation and compliance manager at Biba, said training and competency (T&C) issues were "going up the FSA agenda" in 2006.

"I would expect a more formal approach to brokers' T&C this year. Firms will need to look much more closely at the relevance of what they do."

White added: "The insurance industry is good at giving technical knowledge and training, but less good on the softer business skills.

A spokesman for the FSA said 2005 was the year for letting firms bed down and get used to regulation and "2006 is the year for firms to be fully compliant, and that includes training and competence".

' For more on training and competence see our Professional Development supplement, out this month

FSA performance assessed
The Financial Services Practitioner Panel is set to launch the first stage of its 2006 survey of regulated firms to obtain an assessment of the performance of the FSA.

The survey, which is carried out every two years, is aimed at gathering industry views on the FSA and establishing a track record of the regulator's performance.

The report's findings will be published later this year.