Biba meets 12 MPs at ‘pro-business’ party conference

The economic secretary to the Treasury has told insurance brokers “my heart is with you” when trade body Biba drew attention to how much its members spend on regulation compared with other countries.

Andrea Leadsom made the remark at a meeting at the Conservative party conference in Birmingham this week.

Research by London Economics found that UK brokers pay 14 times the global average for regulation. Regulation costs small brokers about 4% of their annual turnover.

Biba executive director Graeme Trudgill and chief executive Steve White spoke to 12 Conservative MPs at the conference. They included discussions with cabinet minister Francis Maude about deregulation, Department for Communities and Local Government minister Penny Mordaunt about high street brokers and business rates, and Efra select committee chairwoman Anne Mcintosh about flood insurance.

After attending both the Labour and Conservative party conferences, Trudgill said the mood among Biba members was that the Conservative rhetoric was far more pro-business.

For example, prime minister David Cameron said at the Conservative business event “I want to create a climate for enterprise”, whereas Labour leader Ed Miliband said of business “we will not always agree” and that he wanted to “create dialogue”.

Trudgill added: “Ed did take the time to talk to us and accept, discuss and take away our documents, and the level below – the likes of Cathy Jamieson MP – were very keen to work with us on our issues.”

Trudgill said both parties were very supportive of apprenticeships. “That is very helpful as Biba, Aon, the CII, ABI and others have put significant effort into supporting the new insurance industry apprentice standard and taking this forward long-term,” he said.