More than 1,000 brokers are signed up to abide by the new code

The Insurance Brokers’ Standards Council (IBSC) has today launched its code of conduct which aims to improve broking standards across the industry.

More than 1,000 brokers have already signed up to the council and will be required to adhere to the code of conduct or face expulsion.

The code is based around FCA principles and includes a set of core duties, principles of conduct applicable to the core duties, and more detailed guidance notes that all broker members must abide to.

The IBSC said the code will be based on restrictive covenants, exclusivity agreements, realistic CPD requirements, ‘desktop’ quoting, insurer terms of business agreements, unrated insurers and wholesale business.

Breach of code

IBSC chair Paul Anscombe said if a member breaches the code they could be expelled by the committee.

“If a complaint about a member is made to us we will consider the information and our only weapon will be to expel them from IBSC – and clearly if there was bad practice the FCA will take appropriate action,” he said.

“We are not a regulator or the law but we are a body that tries to improve professional standards.”

Similar to Biba

Anscombe said the IBSC code is likely to be similar to Biba’s code of conduct which is being drawn up.

“IBSC is there to create a code of conduct for individual members while Biba is a trade body with corporate members. The two things are absolutely separate but we want to support each other,” Anscombe said.

“We have said all along what we are going to do and why it needs to be created for individual practising brokers.

“The guidance notes is not an exhaustive list and it is still being worked on.”

Further training

The IBSC is also considering insurance broker qualifications, including specialist areas such as international business and business interruption, and could work with the CII to offer training programmes.

“We are not intending to be a training body at all, so we will be supporting the CII, but there may be certain courses done outside that. Where the CII can help us we will work together,” Anscombe said.

Members can access the IBSC code of conduct guidance notes on the website or can contact the IBSC for more information.