REG Reviews

REG Reviews – February 2024

1st February 2024

Welcome to your February Edition of the REG Reviews

Last month, The FCA and the UK Government invited feedback on three proposals designed to improve individuals’ decision-making regarding investments and pensions, The IMF suggested that almost half of jobs will be impacted by artificial intelligence and the FCA has highlighted the importance of reporting cases of non-financial misconduct, even if individuals have signed non-disclosure agreements.

Read these articles and many more, as we bring you all the important news from the insurance and financial services world…

Industry News​


BIBA Manifesto Focuses on Regulatory Framework Enhancement

BIBA’s manifesto was unveiled on January 10th, 2024, within the halls of Parliament, marking the commencement of a strategic roadmap for the year, aimed at bolstering enterprises, the economy, and the welfare of consumers.

Revered as the “flagship sector”, BIBA acknowledges the pivotal role played by the insurance brokerage sector in “safeguarding our economic stability and addressing societal demands through enhanced access to insurance.” 

In resonant support, Bim Afolami MP, serving as the Economic Secretary to the Treasury, asserted; “Businesses of all sizes have their part to play in fuelling growth and investment in UK PLC and they need a base of financial resilience and stability to thrive. They need the confidence of financial protection to invest in their businesses – and the insurance broking and intermediary industry is a vital component of helping consumers and businesses find the right solutions.” 

A central focal point this year revolves around crafting a regulatory framework that is proportionate and conducive to fostering growth. There are fervent appeals for diligent scrutiny of metrics pertaining to growth and competitiveness objectives, urging regulatory alignment with the government’s growth agenda.

Highlighting the Financial Services and Markets Act, hailed as a “booster rocket” for the UK economy on June 29th 2023, BIBA CEO, Graeme Trudgill, expounded; ” We want the new growth and competitiveness objective to deliver a healthy, competitive market for insurance buyers – both in terms of an increased number of market participants and a more proportionate cost of regulation, as this is ultimately passed onto consumers and businesses.”  

Addressing the regulatory reporting burden, streamlined measures are advocated following the association’s assertion in its manifesto regarding disproportionate encumbrances due to cost and resource implications.

“BIBA calls for the FCA to accelerate its work to move to a more streamlined approach to data collections as a key driver of efficiency and reduced regulatory cost for firms.” 

Solvency II reforms stand emblematic of the ongoing endeavours aimed at sculpting a regulatory framework focused to growth, facilitating the creation of a simplified and bespoke regulatory architecture. Such initiatives aim to liberate capital for investment in productive sectors of the economy – all while safeguarding the vitality of the insurance sector. 


UK Motorists Face Record-High Insurance Costs, Marking a 58% Increase

In the last quarter of 2023, UK motorists are facing a new record high, with an average annual insurance policy quoted at nearly £1,000.

This surge, representing a 58% increase from the previous year, is raising concerns about added financial strain on household budgets.

The spike in insurance costs, reported by comparison site and insurance broker Willis Towers Watson, is described as a “bleak time for drivers and their car insurance.” 

For newly eligible drivers at 17 years old, the average insurance policy quotes have surged to £2,877, marking a notable 98% year-on-year increase.  

This substantial rise in premiums for young drivers, considered higher risk by insurers, is attributed to the industry’s response to escalating claims costs, driven by significant increases in the prices of car parts, second-hand vehicles, and labor.

While insurers faced challenges with underwriting losses in 2022, conditions have stabilised in the past year as they implemented substantial price hikes to offset the impact of rising claims costs. 

As industry forecasts predict further increases in insurance prices this year, concerns are growing about the impact on households heavily reliant on cars for work and family life.  

The mandatory nature of car insurance makes its pricing subject to significant scrutiny, prompting calls for insurers and the government to explore innovative solutions to alleviate financial pressure on households

While the average policy cost increased by 8% between the third and fourth quarters of 2023, the rate of growth decelerated compared to earlier in the year. 

In inner London, the most expensive part of the UK for car insurance, drivers paid an average of £1,607, according to data from  

While the data suggests that the rate of increases may be slowing, motorists are advised to consider adding antitheft features or reviewing their mileage to potentially lower costs.  

The index reflects quoted prices and does not account for customers finding cheaper cover elsewhere. 

In the third quarter of 2023, the average annual car insurance policy cost £561, according to the Association of British Insurers’ index based on premiums paid by customers.  

This represents a yearly rise of 29%. In contrast, the data set, which runs back to 2006, reported an average annual policy cost of £995 in the final quarter of 2023, marking a 58% year-on-year increase. 


UK and Japan Sign Memorandum of Cooperation to Enhance Cybersecurity Collaboration

The UK and Japan have reached an agreement on a Memorandum of Cooperation aimed at enhancing public-private collaborations in the field of cybersecurity.  

This memorandum was formally endorsed during a three-day visit to the UK by Japan’s Keidanren Cyber Security Committee, under the auspices of the National Cyber Advisory Board (NCAB). 

Led by Deputy Prime Minister, Oliver Dowden and Sharon Barber, Chief Information Officer at Lloyds Banking Group, NCAB operates as a collaboration formed in 2022.  

Comprising leaders from academia and industry, the group is designed to provide diverse perspectives and leverage networks within the cybersecurity ecosystem. Its primary objective is to contribute to the implementation of the National Cyber Strategy. 

Representing the UK and signing the Memorandum, Deputy Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Oliver Dowden, stated; “Cyber is the new frontier. To ensure we remain at the forefront of cyber strategy we must continue to work with democratic partners who share our values”.  

“Japan is an important friend and ally, sharing our beliefs on areas such as rule of law, climate change and human rights.” 

“This latest partnership further strengthens our relationship with Japan following the signing of the Hiroshima Accord and promotes collaboration across the public and private sector, strengthening our economy and demonstrating the UK Government’s commitment to making long-term decisions to secure our future.”

During their visit, the Japanese delegation engaged with prominent figures in the public sector and industry, including high-ranking officials from IBM and Sharon Barber, Chief Information Officer at Lloyds Banking Group.

The discussions focused on securing digital supply chains, fostering cyber resilience in businesses, and implementing recruitment best practices to enhance cyber skills in both nations. 

This collaborative effort builds upon the ongoing partnership between the UK and Japan, reinforcing their shared values of democracy, the rule of law, and the promotion of free and open trade.  

Notably, in May 2023, the two nations signed the Hiroshima Accord, solidifying an enhanced Global Strategic Partnership focused on global security, resilience, and addressing climate change. 

Representing Japan, Dr. Nobuhiro Endo, expressed commitment to deepening and expanding bilateral cooperation between the public and private sectors based on this Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC).  

Keidanren aims to enhance collaboration in building a data-driven society, emphasising discussions on the safe and secure use of digital technologies, including AI. 

Sharon Barber, Co-Chair of NCAB, highlighted the pivotal role of close collaboration between government and industry within NCAB.  

She emphasised that the MoC between the UK and Japan marks a significant advancement, fostering the maturation of private-public partnerships in cybersecurity for both nations and supporting the delivery of their respective cybersecurity strategies. 


Regulators Seek Feedback on Proposals to Improve Financial Advice Accessibility

The FCA and the UK Government are inviting feedback on three proposals within the joint Advice Guidance Boundary Review. These proposals are designed to improve individuals’ decision-making regarding investments and pensions.  

The three initiatives include providing additional clarity on when firms can offer support without delivering regulated financial advice, introducing an innovative approach for firms to provide tailored support to groups with similar circumstances, and creating a simplified form of advice for affordable personal recommendations for clients with simpler needs and smaller investment sums.  

The FCA’s Financial Lives survey uncovered that only 8% of UK consumers received comprehensive financial advice in 2022.  

Given the significance of decisions related to savings, investments, and pension usage, many individuals may face challenges making optimal choices without assistance. The newly proposed initiatives are a crucial step in exploring innovative avenues to broaden the advice market, fostering competition for enhanced consumer service while upholding necessary protections.

The FCA and the Government plan to collaborate with industry stakeholders and consumer groups to refine these proposals further, aiming to expand the accessibility of advice and support and promote the thriving UK investments market. 

The Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Bim Afolami, stated; “The gap between holistic financial advice that is unaffordable for many, and guidance that is free to access but not personal to the consumer, is simply too vast.” 

“This so-called ‘advice gap’ is excluding people with modest investments, who are looking for support that doesn’t break the bank.”  

“This just isn’t good enough – we have long needed a middle ground that is affordable and accessible. The policy paper that the Government and the FCA have published today will explore how we can achieve exactly that”, he added. 

The Executive Director of Markets and International at the FCA, Sarah Pritchard, commented; “We want to open the door for more people to get the right advice or support to manage their money at the time they need it and at a cost they can afford. We’ve already helped firms test drive innovative solutions but we want to go further.” 

“This review will help us produce new rules to deliver this important step change for industry and consumers. It’s important we get this right and we welcome feedback on whether the proposals are right for consumers and for businesses.” 


US-Based Insurance Brokers' Growing Appetite for UK Broker Acquisition

In recent years, there has been a significant trend of consolidation led by U.S.-based insurance brokers. Despite an overall slowdown in deal activity, M&A experts suggest that American consolidators are displaying a growing appetite to acquire brokers in the UK.  

In the previous year, U.S. buyers accounted for over a third of all completed deals in the UK, with Brown & Brown Europe completing a total of 20 transactions.  

The continued interest in acquiring UK brokers raises questions about whether these U.S.-based consolidators will sustain this pace of dealmaking and the driving factors behind these acquisition sprees.

In addition to Brown & Brown Europe, other major acquirers in the UK’s insurance brokerage sector include AssuredPartners, which completed its largest UK acquisition by acquiring Romero Group in November.  

Notable U.S. giants, such as Acrisure, Aon, and Gallagher UK, were reportedly linked with Romero before AssuredPartners sealed the deal. Throughout 2023, NFP, Gallagher, and Acrisure also finalised acquisitions in the UK.  

The year concluded with a significant development as Aon acquired NFP from Ardonagh investors MDP and HPS for an impressive £10.6 billion, highlighting that U.S. consolidators are actively involved in acquiring each other.  

Zooming in on the UK, M&A experts point out several reasons why insurance brokers in the country remain appealing to U.S. buyers. The shared English language is a fundamental factor driving deal activity.  

Moreover, the UK boasts a mature insurance market with a strong regulatory environment, offering stability compared to other regions. The UK’s position as an insurance hub, particularly as the home to the Lloyd’s market, serves as an additional attraction for U.S. consolidators aiming to use the UK as a strategic entry point for broader expansion into Europe. 

Experts emphasise that UK brokers have consistently been appealing to U.S. buyers due to the income nature and cash flow they generate. Olly Laughton-Scott, Managing Director at MarshBerry, notes that the attraction is mutual, with UK brokers likely finding the prospect of selling to an American company appealing. 

The UK market remains attractive to U.S. buyers because multiples in the U.S. are generally higher. Will Lanyon, Partner at PKF Littlejohn, notes that U.S. consolidators are perceived to sometimes offer more, although they “don’t always win the auction.” 

Following a decade marked by robust acquisition activity in the UK, the pace of deals has recently experienced a modest deceleration, attributed in part to a diminishing pool of larger targets.  

Additionally, economic uncertainties, elevated interest rates, and rising borrowing costs are contributing factors influencing the acquisition landscape. M&A experts have observed a shifting landscape in the UK market, where some private equity firms are exiting due to a diminishing number of opportunities.  

This shift has created openings for American consolidators to acquire brokers that were previously backed by private equity. Brown & Brown’s acquisition of GRP is another recent instance highlighting this trend. 

Certain US-based consolidators, including Brown & Brown and AssuredPartners, have opted not to rebrand many of their UK acquisitions.  

Experts challenge the notion that US companies approach deals differently than UK consolidators, emphasising that it is common for businesses entering a new territory to have longer earn-out periods and delay making significant changes to the acquired companies.  

Given the people-centric nature of the insurance business, consolidators aim to retain both staff and clients of the brokers they acquire The decision to rebrand a broker after a deal is perceived to depend more on the deal structure than the new owner, according to experts.  

Will Lanyon, a partner at PKF Littlejohn, mentioned that for larger deals with earn-out periods, the acquiring company might delay making changes for a set period. 

However, he noted that a US consolidator making a significant deal in the UK might be more inclined to rebrand to establish a presence in the market. While many consolidators have operated on a hub-and-spoke model, there is growing interest in specialist deals and a focus on targets of a certain size for new entrants. 

The year ahead is expected to see more US consolidators pursuing deals in the UK, with increasing interest from American companies eyeing potential targets. Experts anticipate that the players who have already entered the UK market will set a trend, prompting other businesses to explore strategic opportunities.  

Out of the top 25 US brokers, only nine currently have platforms in the UK, leaving room for others to consider establishing a presence in the mature UK market for growth in 2024 and beyond. 


IMF Warns AI Adoption Risks Widening Global Economic Inequality

A recent assessment by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) suggests that approximately 40% of jobs will be impacted by artificial intelligence (AI). Kristalina Georgieva, the Managing Director of the IMF, warns that in most scenarios, AI is likely to exacerbate overall inequality.  

To counter this “troubling trend,” policymakers are urged to intervene and prevent the technology from escalating social tensions. 

The scrutiny on the benefits and risks of AI has intensified as its prevalence continues to grow. According to the IMF, advanced economies may witness AI affecting up to 60% of jobs, with half of these cases leading to enhanced productivity for workers.  

Conversely, AI could also take on crucial tasks currently performed by humans, potentially diminishing the demand for labour and jeopardising job security and wages. 

In contrast, the IMF projects a lesser impact of AI on jobs in low-income countries, estimating it to be around 26%. This aligns with a 2023 report from Goldman Sachs, which predicted that AI could replace the equivalent of 300 million full-time jobs but acknowledged the possibility of new job creation and increased productivity. 

Georgieva points out that many developing nations lack the necessary infrastructure and skilled workforce to harness AI’s benefits, raising concerns that over time, the technology could exacerbate global inequality. 

The IMF contends that higher-income and younger workers are likely to experience a disproportionate increase in wages with the adoption of AI, while lower-income and older workers may face challenges keeping pace.  

Georgieva stresses the importance of countries establishing comprehensive social safety nets and retraining programs to make the AI transition inclusive, protecting livelihoods and curbing inequality. 

This IMF analysis coincides with discussions on AI at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where global business and political leaders are convening. The increased regulatory scrutiny on AI is evident worldwide, with the European Union recently reaching a provisional deal on comprehensive laws to regulate AI.  

China has already implemented some of the world’s first national regulations on AI, covering aspects such as the development and deployment of algorithms. In the United States, President Biden signed an executive order in October requiring developers to share safety results related to AI with the government, and the UK hosted an AI Safety Summit the following month, where multiple countries signed a declaration on the safe development of AI technology. 


FCA Urges Reporting of Non-Financial Misconduct Despite NDAs

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has emphasised the importance of reporting cases of non-financial misconduct, even if individuals have signed non-disclosure agreements (NDAs), according to statements made during the recent Treasury Select Committee’s inquiry into Sexism in the City. 

During the committee hearing on Wednesday, FCA executives addressed concerns about the misuse of NDAs in incidents of bullying and sexual harassment to silence victims and protect wrongdoers. Sarah Pritchard, the Executive Director of Supervision, Policy, and Competition at the FCA, stated that the regulator plans to request data from wholesale banks, insurers, and brokers regarding complaints of non-financial misconduct within their organisations. 

Pritchard clarified that the use of NDAs alongside non-financial misconduct would be scrutinised in the data collected, and such information would inform the FCA’s future supervisory efforts. She stressed that NDAs would not impede notifications to the regulator, and the FCA would gain better visibility of non-financial misconduct, regardless of NDA use. 

While acknowledging valid reasons for using NDAs in settling commercial terms, Pritchard emphasised that NDAs should not obstruct individuals from raising concerns about bullying, harassment, or sexual misconduct. Future FCA proposals are not NDA-specific but underline the obligation for firms to report disciplinary actions taken for non-financial misconduct. 

FCA Chief Executive, Nikhil Rathi, indicated openness to making the disclosure of NDA use in non-financial misconduct cases a requirement, pending the evaluation of responses to the regulator’s Diversity & Inclusion and non-financial misconduct consultation from September. 

Pritchard emphasised the FCA’s existing rulebook prohibits agreements preventing whistleblowers from making protected disclosures. Even those who have signed an NDA can legally contact the FCA’s whistleblowing hotline, and Pritchard encouraged individuals to report concerns, which will be considered in a broader supervisory context. 

Under the proposed reforms unveiled in September 2023, the FCA and Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) seek to strengthen the fitness and propriety framework and address non-financial misconduct cases. The proposals include requirements for firms to set Diversity & Inclusion strategies and disclose data on underrepresentation. 

While potential sanctions were discussed during the committee hearing, FCA and PRA representatives emphasised that initial stages of implementation would prioritise supervision over enforcement. The focus is on advancing industry-wide transparency rather than resorting immediately to enforcement actions. 


UK Services Exports Surge, but Concentration in London Raises Concerns for "Levelling Up" Agenda

New research from the Resolution Foundation indicates that while services have reached a record share of Britain’s total exports, there is increasing concentration in London.

 In the third quarter of 2023, services sectors made up 56% of exports, a significant increase from 30% in 1997.

However, the data also reveals that a growing proportion of these services exports are centred in London, reaching 46% in 2021, up from 38% in 2016, posing challenges for the government’s “levelling up” agenda.

According to Emily Fry, an Economist at the Resolution Foundation, services exports represent one of Britain’s “secret economic success stories.”

However, she noted that “major cities outside London have failed to share in this growth.” The government’s “levelling up” policy, aimed at addressing regional inequalities, has faced criticism for not effectively improving prospects in less affluent areas.

The Resolution Foundation highlighted that London’s economic growth outpaced other regions since the COVID-19 pandemic, contributing to a record income gap between Londoners and the rest of the UK in 2021.

The foundation emphasised the need to address the London-centric nature of Britain’s services exports success. In comparison, France experienced faster services export growth in cities like Bordeaux and Lille compared to Paris between 1995 and 2018.

Other major UK cities, such as Greater Manchester and Birmingham, saw more modest export growth of 11% and 3% between 2016-21, respectively. The research highlighted that London’s robust export performance extended beyond the financial sector.

Information and communication services exports in the capital grew by an average of 15% per year between 2016 and 2021, while professional services saw a 12% annual growth.

Both sectors outpaced financial services, which grew by 8% per year. The UK was recognised for its diverse strengths in services, encompassing world-class universities, accountants, and entertainment industries, according to Emily Fry of the Resolution Foundation.

Services have become a record share of the UK’s total exports, reaching 56% in Q3 2023, up from 30% in 1997, according to research from the Resolution Foundation.

However, the study highlighted a growing concentration of these services in London, which accounted for 46% of the share in 2021, up from 38% in 2016. While services exports from London experienced robust growth, major cities outside the capital have struggled to benefit from this trend.

This discrepancy raises questions about the effectiveness of the government’s “levelling up” agenda, designed to address regional economic disparities.

The UK stands as the second-largest global exporter of services, closely trailing the United States, according to international trade data. The export of services continues to be a substantial and growing component of worldwide trade, projected to elevate from 25% in 2020 to an estimated 28% by 2035.

The Resolution Foundation highlighted the UK’s favourable position to harness this economic momentum in the forthcoming decade. Despite prevailing focus on goods trade in political discourse, the foundation underscored the increasing significance of services trade for the UK’s prospective economic prosperity.


Deepfake Risks in Finance Calls for Enhanced Fraud Prevention

David Duffy, CEO of Virgin Money, recognised the imperative to enhance the bank’s fraud prevention measures while visiting Microsoft’s Seattle headquarters. During the visit, he gained insights into the advancements in generative AI technology, particularly in the creation of “deepfake” voices and videos.   

Acknowledging the potential risks, Duffy emphasised that AI, coupled with quantum computing, could significantly escalate the challenges in combating financial crime.   

Banks have faced challenges dealing with impersonation fraud for a considerable time. However, the increasing ease of generating deepfakes and voice cloning introduces new risks. Scammers can now exploit these technologies to impersonate individuals ranging from potential romantic partners to family members in crisis, broadening the scope of their targets and raising the success rate of such schemes. 

Sandra Peaston, Research Director at the Fraud Prevention body, Cifas, notes that UK banks are already experiencing scams involving deepfakes. These scams often involve impersonating celebrities, leveraging the abundance of footage available to train deepfake algorithms. Criminals utilise synthesised videos to pass online “know your customer” checks, attempting to open bank accounts or apply for credit cards. 

Moreover, deepfake videos are employed as clickbait to lure users to malicious websites, aiming to harvest sensitive information such as card payment details, according to research conducted by Stop Scams UK and consultancy PwC. 

As deepfake technology advances, Sandra Peaston warns that scammers may require less training material, enabling industrial-scale use.  

This raises the risk of victims being duped over the phone through voice-cloning technology, even without a frequent media presence. The UK’s vulnerability to fraud is heightened due to widespread English usage, near-instant payments, and extensive digital banking adoption.   

In the first half of 2023, the UK witnessed fraud losses amounting to £580m, as per UK Finance. Notably, £43.5m was lost to scams involving police or bank staff impersonations, while an additional £6.9m was attributed to CEO impersonations.  

The use of AI-driven translation tools in deepfakes is expected to enable scammers to replicate voices and accents in various languages, potentially extending their fraudulent activities across borders. 

Chris Lewis, Head of Research at anti-fraud data company, Synectics, warns that other European countries, having encountered less fraud historically, might face an abrupt increase in scams.  

As fraudster technology advances, so does the sophistication of tools for prevention and detection. 

Ajay Bhalla, President of Cyber and Intelligence at Mastercard, has revealed the development of an AI-driven screening tool offered to nine UK lenders for early fraud detection before funds leave customers’ accounts.  

Lloyds Banking Group, the UK’s largest high street lender, sees AI’s pattern recognition capabilities as complementary to its existing fraud prevention system. 

Liz Ziegler, Fraud Prevention Director at Lloyds, explains that the bank utilises behavioural analysis to create a detailed customer profile, freezing payments when unusual activity is detected. 

Industry experts are also working on watermarking technology to embed a traceable mark on AI-generated content for detection, though it remains in early stages, with potential vulnerabilities. 

The Chair of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, Pablo Hernández de Cos, has called for global coordination to address challenges posed by rapidly advancing technology, expressing concerns about its potential impact on history. 

In the UK, banks face increasing incentives to combat evolving fraud types. New rules from the Payment Systems Regulator, effective from October, will hold financial institutions accountable for compensating victims of authorised push payments fraud.

Virgin Money, in response, announced a £130 million investment in financial crime prevention to enhance cyber defence and biometric capabilities.  

The rise of deepfake-powered fraud is expected to prompt tech companies to compensate victims, with the banking sector currently being the only one reimbursing fraud victims.  

Steve Cornwell, Head of Fraud Risk at TSB, urged AI software providers to implement safeguards against criminal use, while the Online Safety Act is anticipated to hold tech companies responsible for removing fraudulent content from their platforms. 

REG Updates

The Importance of Empathic Cultures – Shifting the Narrative of Men’s Mental Health at Work

Last month, Marketing Manager, Zoë Parsons, spoke to insurance about the paramount importance of empathy in navigating men’s mental well-being at work and explored the statistics and shared vital takeaways from REG’s recent Mind Matters event.

To support Movember, REG hosted a panel event, Mind Matters, dedicated to addressing the challenges men encounter concerning mental health in the workplace.   

Parsons drew on the statistics, which shed light on the alarming prevalence of mental health issues among male employees, and noted that despite efforts to increase awareness, a significant portion of men still grapple with anxiety, depression, and work-related stress.

Shockingly, many hesitate to seek help due to pervasive stigmas, leading to concerning rates of untreated mental health conditions and, tragically, suicide. 

Parsons also shared findings from REG Technologies’ primary research, which sought to uncover why men are less reluctant to seek help for mental health problems at work. The findings highlighted the pervasive influence of stigmas, which often isolate individuals and inhibit open discussions about mental health. Fear of judgment and appearing weak were identified as primary barriers to seeking support, she reported. 

Parsons also commented on the key takeaways from the panellists, which included Andrew Walker, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Manager at Ardonagh Advisory, Ra-Venne Scholar, Senior Analyst at Goldman Sachs and Mark Russel, Performance Coach at Mark Russell Performance Coaching. 

During the discussion, the speakers emphasised the importance of empathy in fostering supportive workplace cultures. By understanding the difference between empathy and sympathy, individuals can create safe spaces for open dialogue without fear of judgment, she reported.

Moreover, Parsons echoed that accommodating diverse working habits and promoting accountability were recognised by the panel as essential elements in creating empathetic environments. 

One practical solution that was shared during the panel, and Parsons highlighted, was the introduction of mental health first aiders in the workplace. These trained individuals provide a safe haven for employees to express their concerns and seek assistance without judgment. Such initiatives exemplify the power of empathy in action and contribute significantly to breaking down stigmas surrounding mental health, Parsons reiterated. 

Parsons concluded by stressing the urgent need for ongoing conversations and actions to prioritise mental health in the workplace. By embedding empathy into company cultures and fostering open dialogue, organisations can create environments where everyone feels supported in their mental well-being, ultimately reshaping the narrative surrounding men’s mental health beyond designated awareness months.

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