As a group who control gross written premium well in excess of £100m in both the retail and commercial sectors we write, as a single voice, to express our concerns regarding commission disclosure.
It appears that the argument is being driven by vested interests who, for reasons that suit their own business (compliance with overseas regulators/courts and price reductions at the expense of brokers earnings in the main), seem to be keen on commission disclosure.
As a group we support entirely the position taken by Biba and by the London Market Brokers Committee (LMBC), which basically states that terms of business agreements (Toba) between brokers and commercial policyholders should include a condition that makes it clear that commission disclosure is available on demand.
With regard to retail business, in our experience, there is absolutely no appetite within the general retail population for commission disclosure. The playing field with direct writers is already uneven as has been evidenced recently by the removal by the FSA for the need for the same level of detailed paperwork to be sent by direct writers as has to be sent by brokers.
If retail disclosure appears, who will benefit? How will policyholders be able to make a fair assessment of their position when making comparisons with direct operators? Will direct writers be forced to disclose their marketing, budget or acquisition costs?
The deal for the customer is best achieved by the broker obtaining the most suitable cover and price combination for any particular client while complying with the treating customers fairly (TCF) principles.
There are various comments in various publications by various people that refer to brokers putting their own house in order. For the vast majority of brokers and customers the house is already in order. Unfortunately, those houses that need internal attention often speak loudest so as to spread the attention load and thereby divert focus away from themselves.
It's time that ordinary brokers stood up and said leave it alone; there is nothing wrong with it.
Paul Inskip - Managing director
Motor Trade Solutionsfor and on behalf of:
Barry Fehler, South Essex Insurance Brokers
Ian Drewe, K Drewe Insurance Brokers
John Hooper, Coversure Insurance Services
John Lawson, Creamer Group
Martin Littleton, BIB Underwriters.