The chief executive of the London and International Insurance Brokers Association (LIIBA) has told insurance brokers that the key challenge facing them post-Brexit remains the uncertainty around the proposed models for brokers to maintain access to London for European risks.
Speaking at a joint LIIBA-Lloyd’s Brexit seminar, Christopher Croft, chief executive of LIIBA, said that while yet unconfirmed media reports of a UK-EU financial services deal were positive, the lack of clarity around the Insurance Distribution Directive (IDD) meant that, to date, no European Union regulator had confirmed a belief that a wholesale broking model would be acceptable.
Mr Croft said: “Most regulators are expecting EIOPA to provide clarity for brokers but our understanding is that EIOPA does not intend to so. This is because the scope of IDD is a matter for the European Commission. However, the Commission is unlikely to do anything that could be seen to be prejudicing the negotiations.”
In order to put the matter before the Commission, Mr Croft asked brokers to keep the London market and its representative bodies appraised of their plans and to continue working closely with the Corporation of Lloyd’s.
Commenting on media reports of a UK-EU financial services deal, Mr Croft said: “These as yet unconfirmed reports that an agreement on market access has been reached are a positive sign – and mirror messages we are getting from both sides of the negotiation. But if, as reported, the deal is based on regulatory equivalence we await the detail of how this will cater for insurance intermediation where no such concept exists. We are however hopeful as this challenge was acknowledged by government when John Glen responded on behalf of the Prime Minister to LIIBA’s letter on the subject.”
On a related note, Mr Croft said he had learned that the German Insurance Buyers’ Association had raised with the German government the need to access London post-Brexit.
Mr Croft added: “Our message to politicians remains twofold: we need a political solution to contract certainty and we need EU clients to retain access to London post-Brexit. It’s a message we believe is now resonating in some important areas.”
The seminar, to coincide with the opening of Lloyd’s Brussels subsidiary, took place in London at the Willis Towers Watson auditorium.
Over recent months, LIIBA’s team has met MEPs, embassy staff from a range of EU countries and representatives of the UK government to make its case for London-based insurance brokers.