The trade body has flagged key topic areas for the government, such as flooding, apprenticeships and the Financial Services and Markets Bill 

Broking trade association Biba has submitted a list of requests to the government highlighting considerations that HM Treasury should take into account ahead of its 2023 Spring Budget announcement on 15 March.

The trade body’s submission discusses insurance premium tax (IPT), flood protections and the expansion of apprenticeship schemes. These topics were also flagged within Biba’s 2023 manifesto, which was published on 24 January 2023.

For example, Biba has reiterated that IPT should be frozen for the remainder of the parliamentary term to support financial resilience, while an IPT exclusion should be applied for cyber insurance and around cladded buildings that require remediation.

Biba additionally recommended that the Transport Bill must be brought forward to create a regulatory framework for automated and micromobility vehicles and that the Financial Services and Markets Bill - which was published in July 2022 - must set out clear accountability requirements for regulators around meeting the UK’s new growth and international competitiveness objective.

Biba wants “the FCA to set out within [its] consultation papers how their proposals would operate towards facilitating and promoting the international competitiveness of the UK economy and its growth in the medium to long term.”

Pressure on government

Biba’s other proposals for HM Treasury include:

  • Protecting homes and businesses from flooding - for example, more effective management and modelling of surface water flooding, ensuring that property planning guidance and building regulations around sustainable home building are enforced and permission is provided for Flood Re to be allowed to discount insurance premiums where recognised flood resilience measures are installed.
  • Expanding apprenticeship schemes by removing the 12-month minimum duration currently specified within the government’s apprenticeship levy programme - Biba wants the apprenticeship levy scheme to include wider skills development too.

The association said: ”As brokers are located throughout the UK, tackling skills gap for our sector through greater uptake of a skills levy would have a UK wide distribution impact and align with the aims of levelling up through regional economic growth.”

Summarising its bid to HM Treasury, Biba explained: ”The broking sector, as part of wider financial services, is a crucial enabler to help businesses in the real economy manage their risk by providing financial protection and allowing them to invest, grow and thrive.

”Improving financial resilience can help [level] up economic outcomes for consumers.

”Our key asks cover protecting businesses, allowing them to grow, protecting consumers with better health outcomes, protecting homes and businesses against the risk of increased flooding and enabling more opportunities for education and skills.”