Sydney was the centre of the insurance broking world this week, when the heads of national broking associations from across the globe met to discuss the rising tide of global regulation.
As part of the World Federation of Insurance Intermediaries (WFII)15th World Council and Executive CSE Committee meetings, NIBA CEO Dallas Booth hosted his international counterparts for broad-ranging discussions on issues facing the broking industry.
European Federation of Insurance Intermediaries Chairman Paul Carty says the world is now a global village and each everyone is influenced by decisions made by the likes of the WTO, the OECD and the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS).
“Things are really cascading down at a global level and we can’t afford to ignore it,” he says.
“Regulation, particularly since the financial crisis, has only been in direction – upward. But I think there is a cycle involved in this and I think we’re just passing the peak of that cycle.
“We’ve gotten over the shock of the GFC and we’re asking ‘Are we getting value for money in consumer terms?’ All the resources we’ve put into regulation: has it improved matters? Is it paying off? What bits do we need to maintain? What bits do we need to shed?”
Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America President and CEO Bob Rusbuldt says having an international voice for brokers was only getting more vital.
“It is important as our economies are being globalised and free trade agreements are being implemented the international borders are becoming fuzzier every day,” he says.
“Whether its insurance or manufactured goods, products are going to flow across borders with increasing ease and that includes what we do as insurance brokers.”
Booth says the WFII was an invaluable advocate for brokers on the global stage.
“It is just so important, from the NIBA perspective and from the Australian perspective, that we are aware of what the regulators are discussing and have the opportunity to discuss those operations as they are developing their thinking,” he says.
“There have been a lot of proposals for more stringent regulations for insurance companies. That has an impact on price that we have to be careful with.”