Stories of firms suffering from fees hikes pour in as our ‘Fair Fees’ campaign heats up

Brokers have threatened to withhold their payment to the FSA in a mass protest against this year’s fees and levies hike, while others have warned that they could be forced out of business.

Following last week’s launch of the ‘Fair Fees: Brokers won’t pay for banks’ campaign, Insurance Times continues to be inundated with feedback from brokers who are angry with the increases in the levels of both the FSA’s main fee and the FSCS levy.

Reflecting the widespread anger in the professional broking community, many have called for mass non-payment of the FSA’s bills on deadline day next week. David Auden, of Auden Associates in Stockport, called on brokers to “take a leaf out of the French book” by refusing to pay their bills en masse.

Keith Fowles, owner of KLF Insurance Brokers Ltd in Shrewsbury, urged brokers to unite and freeze their FSA payments at last year’s level.

And Michael Bond, managing director of Cheshire broker MG Insurance, told IT that he was considering not paying the FSCS levy element of his bill, which has jumped from £700 to more than £4,000 over the past year.

Other brokers have told IT that their businesses face closure as a result of the payment hike. Isle of Wight broker Barry Hailstone faces paying £1,125 out of approximately £9,800 turnover in fees, which could tip his business into the red.

Institute of Insurance Brokers chief executive Barbara Bradshaw warned that it was illegal for brokers not to pay their FSA demands. “You have to remember that the FSA can close you down and take the word broker out of your title.”

And Biba head of compliance and training Steve White said: “We are calling on the new government to ensure that the regulation of our sector is appropriate, proportionate and cost-effective. In the meantime, payment of FSA fees and levies is a legal requirement and firms should be in no doubt about the consequences of not paying.”

Read our cover story: Fair fees: Brokers won't pay for banks.

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