Broker trade bodies team up as industry seeks a market solution.
See also: Biba and IIB join forces to lobby FSA
The decision taken by Biba and the IIB to join forces in the battle to thwart the threat of mandatory commission disclosure is the first major sign of a united industry.
With the FSA now reviewing responses to its discussion paper on transparency, disclosure and conflicts of interest in the commercial insurance market, as well as carrying out customer research and other thematic work, this show of strength by the two major UK broker trade bodies comes as the industry seeks a market solution on disclosure.
The FSA has already stated that it prefers an industry-led solution, but the market will need to prove to the regulator that is it united in its efforts to make it work, when the time comes to make a proposal.
As Biba leads the charge on a market solution, the wider industry can do no more than offer its support to the cause.
The ABI has already put forward its case against mandatory disclosure and is working closely with the broker trade bodies on a market solution. Biba and the ABI have already met with the FSA to discuss the first stages of the solution, but there is still some way to go.
With Biba currently “putting the meat on the bones” in developing the solution, they along with other industry bodies and figures are continuing to lobby the FSA and are set for further discussions with the regulator.
“For a solution to work it needs to address the FSA’s concerns. We are having some discussions with them on how we would achieve that,” said Steve White, Biba’s head of compliance.
Senior industry figures are also believed to be keen to make sure that the market has all its bases covered, by way of uniting.
“We have been talking to some of our larger members to gain their views and appetite for this and get their support, which they have offered,” added White, who says it is important that the entire market makes its voice heard.
Over the coming months it is possible that the industry will see many more similar relationships form and follow the lead set by Biba and the IIB. Which also raises the question of whether this could be the first stages of a merged broker trade body, as has been speculated in the past?