Insurer job cuts have left brokers worried about their working relationship with some big names – and a subsequent loss of business
Insurer service has been thrust back into the spotlight as a result of a string of impending job cuts that could see broker-facing roles axed.
It’s a bitter blow to brokers who have seen it all before, but once again they have been left seething at the decisions made by insurer management.
NIG has borne the vast majority of broker ire after we reported how it is planning to cut a number of business development managers. The move is part of its parent Direct Line Group’s plans to lose 891 roles by 2014 in a £100m cost-saving drive. About 50 to 60 roles had been earmarked for redundancy across the group’s commercial business, but many brokers are perplexed at why valuable roles in the broker-underwriter chain will be cut.
What really gripes brokers is that relationships will be lost. Insurance is a relationship-driven industry, and brokers spend a large part of their working week building rapport with their account managers. All of this will go out of the window if that bond is broken, as could the business placed with that underwriter.
NIG is understood to be considering new senior business development manager roles, which brokers will need plenty of convincing is a step forward.
Premium finance deals on FSA radar
The FSA is casting an eye over premium finance deals offered by brokers to commercial clients. Should brokers be worried? It’s still early days, but it’s another valuable income source for brokers that is now on the regulator’s radar.
Earlier in the year the watchdog singled out add-on products for attention, insisting it would stop the sale of some ancillary products and come down hard on the firms that sell them. Then there’s referral fees, which are due to be banned next April.
What will be next?