Chief execs demand radical overhaul and cultural change to improve standards

Insurance professionals have called for radical reform in the way they do business to improve their standing with consumers and achieve compliance with the FSA's regulatory regime.

At the CII conference in London last week, contract certainty, conflicts of interest, conduct of business and transparency of remuneration were all identified as areas where a concerted effort would drive up standards.

Technical training was seen as key to boosting the performance and reputation of the sector.

Michael Hammond, chief executive of broker JLT Risk Solutions, warned: "We should put our own house in order. We certainly don't want people coming to us and telling us how to run our businesses. We need to go 'back to basics' on training and boost technical standards."

Dennis Mahoney, UK chief executive of Aon, added: "FSA accreditation is not like a driving test that you can pass and then forget. It is a lifetime process.

We need to upgrade the quality of our people and our skill-sets."

Bronek Masojada, Hiscox's chief executive, said the industry should publish figures on its internal performance as a way to focus thinking: "They might make uncomfortable reading for some but they would provide an incentive for improvement."

Pierre Lefèvre, chairman and chief executive of Groupama, said the FSA's Treating Customers Fairly initiative would change the way the industry interacted with its policyholders:

"We need a change in culture and we need it to be led by senior management. The momentum for change will only come from the top."

Duncan Boyle, chief executive of Royal & SunAlliance, said positive change could be achieved without the need for hefty investment in new systems:

"What we are looking for is a change of culture. It's simple: we need to eradicate errors, impose discipline on our process and increase the clarity of our communications."