Brokers break from BIBA

London Market Brokers voted unanimously at their EGM today to form a new, independent organisation to be called the London and International Insurance Brokers Association (LIIBA).

LIIBA will begin operations on January 1, and will assume all the functions previously assumed by London Market Brokers’ Committee.

Unlike its predecessor, the new association will be separate from the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA), but will work with BIBA on an ad hoc basis.

It means that London market brokers now have their own independent representative body.

Chairman Jonathan Palmer-Brown hailed the move as a natural development, which would make it easier to focus on the needs of brokers in the international insurance market.

“I’m delighted but not surprised at the level of support for the new association, and would like to thank members for their enthusiasm.

“LIIBA’s role will be broadly the same as LMBC at present, the main difference being that we will have a stronger focus on what matters to our members.

“The issues that concern regional brokers are mostly quite different, and this separation should ultimately increase clarity and improve our cost-effectiveness,” he said.

Palmer-Brown listed the association’s top priorities:

• Reform of the London market

• Representing members’ interests with the FSA’s wholesale insurance division on issues such as broker commission transparency and client money

• Liaison with Lloyd’s, LMA and IUA about ongoing issues, including Lloyd’s distribution strategy and claims agreement process

• Continuing support for members through the existing technical committees

• EU and other international regulatory issues such as the EU sector enquiry

• Continuing to promote professional standards through education and training, with a new focus on training that develops a greater understanding of market reform.

Working with organisations such as the CII (Chartered Insurance Institute) to develop exams and skill sets in specialist areas of insurance and reinsurance.

“Our mission is to ensure that London remains where the world wants to do business by continuing the transformation of market processes and maintaining the highest professional standards,” he said.

“We are fortunate in having a large number of very able people willing to give of their time to help London provide the best possible business environment.”

The plans to create a new association have been public knowledge for some time, and today’s decision has been welcomed in many quarters.

“We greatly value our relationships with Lloyd’s brokers and look forward to working with the new association,” said Lloyd’s chief executive Richard Ward.

All LMBC’s staff and committees will transfer to LIIBA. The governing Board is also unchanged, though some of the places will come up for re-election early in the New Year.

LIIBA will take over from LMBC as the representative body for London market insurance brokers in discussion with regulators such as the FSA, at the EU, on relevant international groupings such as BIPAR (The European Federation of Insurance Intermediaries) and on the Market Reform Group.