Latest CBI/PwC quarterly survey reveals optimism for GI brokers and insurers

Jonathan Howe PwC

General insurers saw solid business volumes growth in Q4 2012, but volumes are expected to grow at an even stronger pace over the three months to March 2013, according to the latest CBI/PwC Financial Services Survey.

Overall profitability among insurance brokers was broadly stable over the last quarter, added the CBI, but this was expected to grow in Q1 2013.

Broker’s business volumes fell over the last quarter, disappointing expectations of continued growth, said the report.

However, expectations of business volumes in GI were positive for the first three months of the year.

Meanwhile, the number of people employed in the industry rose for the fourth quarter in a row and were expected to rise again in the next three months albeit at a slower pace.

PricewaterhouseCoopers UK insurance leader Jonathan Howe (pictured) said: “General insurers are feeling slightly more confident, and are hoping for stronger rates through the commercial renewal season. Even so, weak investment returns remain a major and constant challenge to the industry.”

He added: “Even though M&A remains the subject of considerable debate within the industry, those surveyed do not expect to see a pick-up in deal activity during 2013. A growing interest in strategic partnerships is predicted as profitability continues to be a key pressure for general insurers.”