Institute of Insurance Brokers (IIB) director general Andrew Paddick has refused to reveal the professional standards that brokers will have to attain in order to join the organisation's new regulatory arm.
Last week, the Competition Commission Appeals Tribunal (CCAT) held up the IIB's appeal against the Office of Fair Trading's decision to pass the General Insurance Standards Council's (GISC) rulebook.
In response, Paddick announced the IIB would launch a new regulatory arm similar to the now defunct Insurance Brokers' Registration Council (IBRC).
He said the new arm was aimed at “professional brokers”, but he would not reveal the professional standards expected until he had written to brokers, inviting them to join. This will take place in the coming three weeks.
“I'm not saying what they are at the moment, but they will be comprehensive,” he said.
“This is going to be done democratically. We've got to elect a regulatory board and, until then, the final rules won't be set.”
Paddick, who did not comment on his own qualifications, said the IIB would require brokerage principals to be “adequately experienced and qualified”.
“The ACII would be one of the acceptable qualifications, but prospective members would also need to have broking experience,” he said.
Regulation expert Robin Wood, who spent eight years on the IBRC disciplinary committee, said the standards set by regulatory bodies needed to cover a number of angles.
“Regulation is about setting minimum standards, such as a code of conduct, financial and entry requirements, training and competence rules, professional indemnity requirements, complaints and disciplinary procedures, claims handling guidelines, a draft constitution – the list goes on,” Wood said.
“A professional body or trade association is not the same as a regulator.”
Meanwhile, the British Insurance Brokers' Association (Biba) chairman George Nixon said Biba would continue to encourage its members to join the GISC.
“This latest decision shouldn't sway brokers from joining the GISC,” he said.
“Biba believes the GISC is the only realistic vehicle for effective regulation of standards for the general insurance sector and, as such, we continue to support it.”