The Insurance Brokers Code of Practice Code Compliance Committee has released its Annual Review for 2018-2019.
In releasing the Annual Review, Code Committee Chair Michael Gill said: “In the wake of the financial services Royal Commission — it has never been more important for insurance brokers to demonstrate they are meeting the service standards laid out in the Code and responding to client concerns in an fair and reasonable manner. The Committee expects it; the community expects it.”
NIBA CEO Dallas Booth said, “There is no doubt that the level of expectation of client service and support has increased substantially since the revelations of the Royal Commission. However, for five years now NIBA has had a Code of Practice that sets out the industry’s commitment to core values of professionalism, and acting in the best interests of the client. This commitment to professionalism is a core fundamental objective of NIBA, the NIBA Board of Directors, our industry leaders and all the Member Principals I have spoken with since joining NIBA.”
The Royal Commission looked closely at the role of Codes of Practice across the financial services sector. Importantly, the Commissioner recognised that an industry Code, if properly owned and implemented, is likely to be a far more effective tool in delivering strong client outcomes than any form of law or regulation.”
This year’s Annual Review indicates that not all broking firms are taking the Code and its obligations as seriously as they might, and states that subscribers need to do better when it comes to embedding a culture of good industry practice within their businesses.
Booth confirmed, “NIBA is carefully examining the Annual Review, and the report will be discussed at our next Board of Directors meeting.”
In the meantime, we do know from AFCA statistics released at the NIBA Convention, from comments from ASIC and other sources, that overwhelmingly brokers are doing an excellent job working for and on behalf of their clients, and acting in their best interests when doing so. However, the Code Compliance Committee is reporting weaknesses in the adoption and embedding of the Code within some businesses, and we must take this seriously.”
He said once the Association has had a chance to consider the Annual Review, information and recommendations to members will be provided on what can be done to ensure the Code of Practice is being adopted and applied across all insurance broking firms, that the Code service standards are being delivered, and that clients are being given clear information about what to do if they are not satisfied with the nature and level of service they have been provided with.
Booth stressed that, “We do need to take the Code seriously, and we must ensure that all insurance brokers are constantly and consistently meeting the service standards set out in the Code. This is the best means of demonstrating to clients and to the broader community our fundamental commitment to high standards of professionalism in insurance broking.”
The full report is available on the AFCA website here.