I refer to the article about the IIB's "scheme" for checking the credentials of wholesalers (News, 26 May).
The implication of the article, and of my correspondence with the IIB, is that all those who "declined to co-operate" have something unsavoury to hide.
I have never attempted to win customers through implied threats that if a broker does not deal with me it may be considered as of questionable honesty. This is no foundation for building a business relationship, nor is it a professional way to conduct any business.
Why should I pay money to a commercial organisation that wants access to my sensitive business information?
If this is such an "important industry initiative" as the IIB claims, it should be carried out by a non-commercial organisation with a history of uniting the insurance profession. Sadly, as far as I am aware, the IIB has never been a unifying force within insurance.
An IIB letter of September 2004 stated that "over 150 leading wholesalers and scheme providers have already supported this initiative". At the time I contacted a number of scheme providers, none of which said they had given any support to the initiative.
The IIB's subsequent letter of April 2005 informed me that 112 products had been registered by wholesalers. These 112 products are likely to represent a handful of wholesalers rather than over 150.
Another IIB letter I received stated that there are three categories of wholesaler, the final one being "a number of firms which never responded at all (which demonstrates a lack of systems and controls) or declined to participate".
I wrote to the IIB on 3 May 2005, asking for some facts and figures as well as further comments. To date [IIB director general
Andrew] Paddick has not responded. Could this demonstrate a "lack of systems and controls"? Can I assume the IIB has "declined to participate" when asked pertinent questions?
So, when you see that Ingham Underwriting "declined to participate", it in fact means that this firm has paid large sums of money to the FSA for authorisation and is fully prepared for regulation.
It means we are regularly and thoroughly audited by the insurers that give us underwriting authority, and receive excellent reports from them. It also means we have no time for people who try, in my view dishonourably, to frighten us into boosting their own income at our expense.