Broker service deal with ICS reviews procedures and training

Guaranteeing broker HML Marketing will be one of the first brokers to break into the compliance market, launching its product this week.

Several large brokers and broker networks are expected to make their onslaught on compliance in the

New Year, as concern about upcoming statutory regulation hots up.

HML has signed a deal with Kent-based Insurance Compliance Services (ICS) to provide HML's Compliance Support Service for Brokers.

ICS will review the client's customer interface, training and competence and complaints procedure, conduct a gap analysis based on current GISC rules and debrief the executives.

It will make quarterly visits to monitor the action plan set up for the broker, with a telephone and email helpline running at all times.

HML marketing director Chas Reilly said he expected a number of competitors to introduce compliance products as statutory regulation, perceived by some as the "insurance brokers' Armageddon" approach.

HML's product will be available to its 3,800 agency brokers.

Reilly said it would cost about £250 a month, but HML would discuss the possibility of group rates for small brokers situated close together.

"We're delighted to offer the ICS Services to our client brokers," he said.

"We feel confident it will provide them with the reassurance and wherewithal to meet the FSA requirements."

The Broker Network plans to launch a compliance product in 2003 and other big regional brokers are considering doing the same.

A source said: "Software compliance products are the flavour of the day but people want more than that, they want actual help filling out the forms.

"There'll be a lot more coming into the market as the big brokers, who have to put their own compliance departments together, realise they may as well provide the service to others."

The FSA will begin regulating the sale of general insurance products in the second half of 2004.