Insurer hires former GISC consultant to help its brokers tackle compliance

Norwich Union (NU) has unveiled its latest plan to win the hearts and minds of its brokers: subsidised compliance.

The UK's biggest insurer has employed PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) to help its agents tackle the

compliance issues associated with forthcoming broker regulations.

Intermediary business director Ken Wallace said that PWC would be providing three NU-subsidised services. PWC will also help NU run a series of seminars, probably starting in early 2004 - once the FSA has finalised its rules.

"We expect to get 2,500 of our 3,500 agents attending the seminars," he said.

Wallace added that PWC had worked on a self-diagnostic toolkit for NU to distribute, and PWC consultants would be available for diagnostic consultations and health check visits at a subsidised daily rate, which was still to be determined.

Wallace warned that brokers would need to think about completing their FSA application forms by the beginning of 2004.

The FSA has said that it could take up to a year to deal with forms that are filled in incorrectly, and six months for those that are filled in correctly. The regulations come into force on 14 January 2005.

Wallace also revealed that according to recently completed research by NU, 50% of those working in broking were over 50, adding fuel to speculation that many brokers will opt out of regulation and look to sell their businesses.

He said that the NU research also found that 84% of brokers had just one office and 70% of brokers had been in business for more than ten years.

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