Brokers should stop bleating about the evils of mandatory commission disclosure. The argument brokers shouldn't have to disclose how much they earn from the sale of a policy because Tesco doesn't reveal how much it makes on the sale of tin of beans is misconceived.
Not only is an insurance policy that may cost hundreds, even thousands of pounds, completely different to a tinned food product costing 40p, but brokers are not retailers. They are professional service providers and should be treated as such.
If you sell your house, you expect to know how much an estate agent will charge to sell the property. If you engage the services of a lawyer, you expect to know the fees that will be charged. Similarly with a private doctor or an architect.
Knowing how much a professional charges for his or her services enables the consumer to make an informed choice about the value of the service that is offered. Why should an insurance broker be any different?
I suspect, brokers fear that if consumers knew how much they made on some policies their commissions may be forced down, as competitive pressures began to bite.
But this is short sighted. The brokers who will suffer will be the ones who do not offer good service, who cannot justify the commissions that they charge and who ultimately don't provide value for money. They are the ones who will be forced to cut commissions to win and keep clients.
In contrast, brokers who offer a good service will be able to justify their commissions.
The broker market must be proud of what it can offer clients, and be confident in what it charges. It should be prepared to say to a customer that it cannot afford to provide a proper service if it is not appropriately remunerated.
As with most things, you get what you pay for. Brokers know that; and clients will soon learn that if all they want is a cheap service from their broker. Commission disclosure is a good thing for the industry.