REG Reviews

REG Reviews – November 2023

1st November 2023

Welcome to Your November Edition of REG Reviews!

Last month, BIBA introduced a fair value assessment framework, leaseholders have been prioritised under the FCA’s buildings insurance reforms, Lloyd’s of London warned on climate related losses and humanoid robots are driving workplace efficiency.

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

Industry News​


BIBA Launches New Fair Value Assessment Framework

The British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) has introduced a comprehensive fairness evaluation framework in response to the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) scrutiny of insurance costs for flat owners.

The regulator recently confirmed the implementation of reforms for leaseholder buildings insurance, scheduled for December 31st.

This regulatory action followed issues in the buildings insurance market, where leaseholders in high-rise apartments reported exorbitant insurance premiums after the Grenfell Tower tragedy in June 2017. In September of the previous year, the regulatory body put forth suggestions and potential solutions.

In April, the FCA criticised commission rates, uncovering instances of widespread unscrupulous practices that were incongruent with delivering genuine value to customers. They pointed out commission percentages, often exceeding 30% and, in some cases, reaching as high as 62%.

Notably, the FCA objected to brokers receiving increased payments solely due to higher premiums, asserting that commission percentages should be reduced as the extra earnings did not constitute fair value.

BIBA has now unveiled its Fair Value Assessment Framework, developed in collaboration with the economics and finance consultancy, Oxera. This framework is intended to aid members in articulating, assessing, and substantiating the value of their services to comply with regulatory demands.

BIBA stressed that participation in the framework and accompanying resources is voluntary, and it is designed to assist brokers in implementing or refining their own fairness models to align with their unique customer segments and business models.

Graeme Trudgill, CEO of BIBA, emphasised that; “BIBA members are dedicated to offering fair value to their customers and new policy stakeholders, particularly in the context of multi-occupancy properties. This underscores the fundamental principle that brokers act as the customers’ agents and operate in their best interests. The Fair Value Assessment Framework will empower our members to demonstrate the value they bring to their customers and can be applied by firms of all sizes.”

Reinder Van Dijk, a Partner at Oxera, also commented on the framework, stating; “It has been a collaborative effort with active engagement from numerous BIBA members throughout the process. The end result is a more comprehensive tool that members can employ to systematically pose relevant questions, irrespective of their firm’s size or business model and the specific offerings they provide. The framework assists firms in delineating the parameters within which fairness is achieved and, if necessary, identifying the steps to ensure the delivery of fair value.”


U.S. Economist Urges UK to Maintain Strong Big Tech Regulations

A former adviser to Barack Obama has cautioned that if the UK proceeds with changes advocated by the technology industry, it could upset the delicate equilibrium of its planned legislation to oversee major technology platforms.

Economist, Jason Furman, along with other renowned scholars who previously served on the official UK digital competition panel in 2018, delivered this caution in a letter dispatched to the Prime Minister on 19th October. 

This letter comes in response to reports indicating that the government might dilute the proposed Digital Markets, Competition, and Consumers Bill, which is currently progressing through parliament.

The proposed bill intends to grant significant authority to a new technology regulator, allowing it to establish extensive regulations for entities like Meta and Alphabet while imposing substantial fines for any breaches.

Numerous tech firms, including Apple and Microsoft, have engaged in lobbying efforts directed at the government, advocating for amendments to the bill that would simplify the process of challenging the regulator’s determinations.

The letter conveyed that Rishi Sunak is earnestly contemplating the potential adjustments to the legislation, as urged by the technology industry.

While the letter did not go into details about the changes, it cautioned Rishi Sunak against permitting “big tech platforms to evade robust regulation by embroiling the regulator in a quagmire of strategic and antagonistic legal disputes and protraction.”

It stated; “What we need is a UK regulator that can get ahead of competition problems in digital markets and work participatively and nimbly with all interested parties.”

The Bill was presented to Parliament in April following a review conducted by Jason Furman, who was commissioned by the government and published his findings in 2019. His review concluded that tech giants were leveraging their dominance to quell competition and augment their profits.

This recent letter to Rishi Sunak, bearing the same concerns, was also endorsed by academics who had contributed to that aforementioned report, among them being Philip Marsden, a professor at the College of Europe in Bruges.

The UK’s technology sector is valued at approximately $1 trillion, and the government aims to remain an attractive hub for investment within this domain, which encompasses Big Tech.

In addition to this letter, a growing wave of concerns is being expressed to the government. This follows reports that major tech companies are seeking adjustments to the bill to facilitate their ability to appeal enforcement decisions. Baroness Tina Stowell, the Chair of the House of Lords Communications and Digital Committee, has also written to Rishi Sunak, urging him to uphold the draft legislation pertaining to appeals.

The regulatory authority responsible for overseeing the industry will be the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), operating through a newly established digital markets unit. While this unit was created in 2021, it cannot establish rules or levy fines until the legislation is enacted.

As per the existing proposals, companies can employ a judicial review process to contest decisions. However, these reviews focus solely on evaluating the procedure and legal foundation of a decision, not its merits.

The tech industry is aiming to broaden the appeal mechanisms to encompass challenges based on the substance of the enforcement actions.

The Department for Science, Innovation, and Technology has stated that the bill “will drive innovation, grow the economy, and deliver better outcomes for consumers.”


Uproar Over UK Regulators' Mandatory Diversity Disclosures

The flagship diversity initiative led by the UK’s financial regulators is facing strong opposition from City firms, who are raising objections to the proposed mandatory disclosures in areas such as religion and expressing concerns about potential privacy breaches.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) released documents last month outlining strategies to enhance diversity and inclusivity across more than 1,500 companies with over 250 employees within London’s financial district and beyond.

Rather than mandating specific quotas for gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, and other characteristics, the FCA and PRA are emphasising transparency. They aim to introduce compulsory disclosures concerning employees’ age, sexual orientation, gender, long-term health conditions, ethnicity, and religion, representing the most comprehensive effort to address the longstanding diversity issues in the finance sector.

Additionally, organisations will be asked for voluntary information regarding their employees’ gender identity, parental roles, career responsibilities, and socio-economic backgrounds. FCA Chief Executive, Nikhil Rathi, assures that these disclosures will enhance competitiveness by tapping into untapped talent pools.

Under these proposals, individuals will retain the option to decline answering questions about their personal characteristics.

However, one executive from a major US bank voiced concerns, stating that; “the industry is poised to strongly oppose this initiative,” and that the regulators are “trying to do a good thing but approaching it the wrong way.”

Another large international bank expressed similar reservations, suggesting that the proposals seem to compel employees to disclose information that should not be enforced.

The regulators are seeking feedback on these proposals until December 18th, with plans to publish the final rules in the following year.

While many companies support the diversity-promotion goal, they are uneasy about some of the requested data. An executive from a third international bank noted that “there’s a tension if people don’t want to share that… you can’t force a person to respond.”

The PRA clarified in its consultation that while it does not create a requirement for employees to disclose such information, an excessive number of “prefer not to disclose” responses could suggest a lack of inclusiveness.

Regarding these concerns, the PRA declined to comment, while the FCA acknowledged that it recognised variations in employee declaration rates and proposed less detailed disclosures in areas beyond sex, gender, and ethnicity.

In the extensive 110-page consultation documents, the regulators mentioned their use of the nine protected characteristics outlined in the UK’s Equality Act as a foundation for disclosures before considering relevance and actionable insights for firms.

Some companies, including a large European bank, questioned the necessity of mandating data collection for religion, and there was surprise at its inclusion in the list of compulsory metrics.

The Association of Financial Markets in Europe (AFME) encouraged regulators to clarify how the data will support diversity in the industry, stressing that it’s essential to ensure that data won’t be used to draw conclusions about psychological safety or workplace culture.

Yasmine Chinwala of the New Financial think-tank noted that cultural differences could cause clashes in companies headquartered outside of the UK, where gender is not included on staff ID cards in Germany, and recording an employee’s ethnicity is illegal in France.

Concerns were also raised about reluctance to disclose sexual orientation and gender identity, with some attributing it to broader political dynamics. Companies cited the risk of inadvertent data privacy violations if identifiable members of these groups were disclosed.

The FCA mentioned the incorporation of safeguards to address identifiability concerns and offered a framework for combining data sets to protect individual identities, while also encouraging firms to propose alternative approaches in their responses to the consultation.


Rise of Scammers: Top Scams to Guard Against

Scammers have had another successful year in Britain, with estimates from UK Finance indicating losses of over one billion pounds to fraud, while other research suggests the figure could be as high as £17 billion, reports the BBC.

This surge in remote scams has made fraud the most prevalent type of crime in the UK, but the chances of perpetrators being apprehended are minimal, with just 1 in 1000 fraud cases leading to a conviction last year.

Here are five of the most common scams that have contributed to these alarming figures and that everyone should remain vigilant against, as reported by the BBC:

1. The “Hi Mum” scam

This highly used scam tends to be used over text message and might read something like this: “Hi Mum, I’ve smashed my phone; please contact me on this number: 07———.”

This particular scam has gained significant traction in the last 12 months, resulting in reported losses of nearly £500,000 this year alone.

The scam kicks off with a seemingly innocent message that requests contact via a new number. However, it quickly escalates into a distressing narrative.

It often involves a tale of a damaged or lost phone and a compassionate friend who loaned money to help the child buy a new one, which is then followed by a plea to send money to pay the ‘friend’ back.

Being highly sceptical of unexpected contact is a good general rule to protect against various types of scammers. To add an extra layer of security, consider establishing code questions that only your actual family members would know the answers to.

2. The Loan Fee Scam

This fraud primarily targets individuals seeking payday loans. Victims often apply on a fake brokerage website, thinking it’s a legitimate loan broker.

Later, they receive a call from someone claiming to be a genuine loan company, congratulating them on their successful application. However, due to their bad credit rating, victims are asked to pay a small fee (typically £50 to £200) to insure the loan.

Paying this fee not only results in losing the money but also means they won’t receive the loan. Scammers have all the victim’s information from the fake website.

To protect against this scam, it’s advisable to ask for a call-back number and contact the company independently to verify their legitimacy, as legitimate callers will have no issue with this, while scammers will try to keep you on the line.

3. Online market place scams

These scams typically target high-value items like vehicles or rental properties and involve scammers copying ads. These victims are told the item is available but can’t be seen in person.

They’re asked for upfront payments, like deposits, with seemingly legitimate invoices. Once paid, the scammer vanishes, having altered the payment details.

To avoid this scam, never buy expensive items on social media without seeing them in person and thoroughly vet the seller’s history and reviews.

4. Pig Butchering

The “Pig Butchering” scam, originating in China, involves an initial message on social media or dating apps, leading to a seemingly innocent online friendship or romance. The scammer gains the victims trust through compliments and personal sharing.

After weeks or months, they introduce the idea of investing in a cryptocurrency platform. As the victim invests and notices promised profits, they both celebrate success, and they encourage you to invest more.

Suddenly, the ‘friend’s’ profile disappears, and the cryptocurrency platform vanishes, revealing it was all a setup to steal your money.

To protect against this scam, exercise caution when choosing where to invest your savings. Rely on financial advice from regulated sources, not strangers online.

5. Social Media Hacking

Social Media Account Hacking is a concerning and financially damaging scam. Victims receive messages claiming their social media accounts have been hacked. The scammers demand payment to regain access, even changing contact details to prevent account recovery.

To combat this scam, it’s crucial not to pay, as scammers may continue demanding more money. If it’s a business account or used for earning as an influencer, report it to the police and contact the social media platform for support.

Request a way to prove ownership, which often involves a verification process. Additionally, set up two-factor authentication and use strong passwords to enhance security.

“Scams are becoming increasing prevalent causing billions of pounds to stolen across the last year alone, meaning staying vigilant against scams is not just wise; it’s absolutely essential. Whether it’s unsolicited messages or requests for money from unfamiliar sources, we must approach these with caution. Always take the extra step to verify offers and requests by independently reaching out to the involved parties. Sharing personal and financial information should be reserved for trusted contacts only. To improve your online security, make use of robust passwords, implement two-factor authentication, and adhere to established verification procedures for your accounts.”


Confirmed FCA Buildings Insurance Reforms Champion Leaseholders

The FCA has unveiled a set of new regulations aimed at safeguarding the interests of leaseholders in the multi-occupancy buildings insurance market.

Commencing in the new year, insurance companies will be obligated to prioritise leaseholders, treating them as valued customers when designing insurance products.

Moreover, they will be prohibited from recommending insurance policies based on commission or remuneration levels.

Additionally, insurers will need to ensure that their policies offer equitable value to leaseholders, providing transparent information regarding policy details and pricing, including any commission paid to leaseholders.

These measures stem from the FCA’s comprehensive review of the multi-occupancy buildings insurance market, revealing substantial premium increases for leasehold buildings insurance following the Grenfell tragedy, leaving leaseholders burdened with higher costs and inadequate value.

Sheldon Mills, Executive Director of Consumers and Competition, emphasised the significance of these reforms, stating; “Insurance firms must now act in leaseholders’ best interests and ensure that their policies provide fair value. Our reforms will fortify the insurance market by introducing new safeguards for leaseholders, and we stand ready to take action against any firms breaching these regulations.”

In light of a review on broker remuneration practices, the FCA also expects brokers to cease paying commissions to third parties, such as property managing agents and freeholders, unless they can provide appropriate justification and evidence in line with fair value rules.

Furthermore, the FCA intends to conduct additional reviews on various products and explore the full spectrum of regulatory tools at its disposal as this initiative progresses.

To complement these measures, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing, and Communities has expressed its intent to eliminate the payment or sharing of insurance commissions with property managing agents, landlords, and freeholders.

The FCA will collaborate with the DLUHC to ensure the full implementation of this action, including potential changes to FCA rules.


Government Urge Safe Approach to AI Regulation

Rishi Sunak has made it clear that he’s not in a “rush to regulate” artificial intelligence (AI). He recently unveiled plans for the establishment of an AI safety organisation in the UK, tasked with evaluating and testing new AI technologies.

Prior to an upcoming summit focused on the potential risks associated with rapidly advancing AI, the prime minister emphasised that the UK is committed to leading the charge in advocating for a groundbreaking joint statement by world leaders. This statement would address the nature of the risks posed by AI, a technology that continues to evolve at an astonishing pace.

However, this doesn’t imply that there should be a rush to impose strict regulations for the industry. Sunak stated; “This is a point of principle, we believe in innovation, how can we write laws that make sense for something that we don’t yet fully understand?”

He added that the newly established institute would “advance the world’s knowledge of AI safety . . . so that we understand what each new model is capable of, exploring all the risks from social harms like bias and misinformation through to the most extreme risks.”

The work would be available to everyone and intends to put forth the idea of establishing a global panel of experts. These experts would be nominated by the participating countries and organisations during the summit. Their primary task would be to produce a comprehensive report on the “state of AI,” similar to the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Along with Sunak’s address, the government published a set of documents that detail potential risks associated with the swift deployment of AI. One of these scenarios foresees automation potentially causing a surge in unemployment and poverty by the year 2030, leading to intense public discussions regarding the future of education and employment.

The documents also explore the possibility of open-source AI models emerging that can effectively compete with humans in various tasks, displaying a remarkable degree of autonomy and capability. These models could potentially be harnessed for malicious purposes, raising concerns about security.

Addressing an audience at the Royal Society, the esteemed British institution of science, Sunak delivered a stern caution. He emphasised that if the development of AI is not carefully managed, it could facilitate the creation of chemical and biological weapons, enable cyberattacks, disseminate disinformation, and support child sexual abuse. In the gravest of scenarios, Sunak said; “humanity could lose control of AI completely.”

However, Sunak also stated; “this is not a risk people need to be losing sleep over right now, UK is doing far more than any other country to keep you safe”.

One of the accompanying papers alleviates concerns of AI running amok, deeming it highly unlikely as the AI would need to gain control and evade deactivation.

Sunak also highlighted the potential advantages of AI in healthcare and social services, emphasising that it could assist experts in addressing some of humanity’s most pressing issues, such as global hunger.


Spotlight on Investment Platforms: Interest Rates on Customers' Cash

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has launched an investigation into investment platforms and the interest rates they offer on customer cash deposits.

Companies like Hargreaves Lansdown and AJ Bell have reported substantial profits, largely attributed to the interest earned on customer deposits, even as trading activity and asset portfolios have remained relatively modest.

The FCA has communicated its scrutiny of the interest income retained by investment platforms to the CEOs of these firms. This initiative is part of the FCA’s new consumer duty policy, which aims to ensure “fair value” for customers.

The investigation follows a July inquiry into high street banks, which were accused of profiteering by not passing on interest rate increases to savers while rapidly increasing borrowing costs.

This year, retail investment platforms have encountered challenges in attracting new business due to the cost of living crisis, shifting preferences toward passive index funds, and competition from more affordable robo-advisers.

These platforms generate income by lending customer deposits to banks at the sterling overnight index average rate while paying a lower interest rate to clients, retaining the difference.

Hargreaves Lansdown’s net interest income for the past year soared to £270 million, up from £50 million the previous year, even as the average amount of cash held in its investment accounts only slightly increased.

AJ Bell reported a 78% increase in its “recurring ad valorem revenue,” which includes interest margins, in the first half of 2023, reaching £75 million.

Interactive Investor, owned by Abrdn, recorded an interest rate margin of £66 million in the same period, constituting a significant portion of the group’s operating profit.

The investment industry has defended its practices, emphasising that customers usually hold cash on their platforms for short periods, and they often pass on most of the benefits of rate increases. For instance, Hargreaves Lansdown stated that over 85% of the benefits of base rate increases in the past year were passed on to clients.

However, concerns exist about the long-term sustainability of platforms relying on this revenue source, especially if interest rates decline. Additionally, there is an increasing regulatory risk associated with this practice.

Frederic Malherbe, the Director of UCL’s Centre for Finance, supports the FCA’s focus on investment platforms retaining interest income, suggesting it could enhance the competitiveness of the deposit market in the UK.

The FCA’s consumer duty, which took effect on July 31st, obliges financial institutions to demonstrate fair and transparent conduct, providing positive outcomes for customers. The investigation aims to ensure that customers receive fair value for the interest on their cash deposits within investment platforms.


Skilled Persons Reports Surge in Insurance Sector Revealed

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has initiated the commissioning of seven skilled person reports in the general insurance and protection sector during the period between July and September.

These reports are conducted by independent third parties and are used by the regulator when it has concerns about specific aspects of a regulated firm’s activities or when further analysis is required.

These reports, known as s166 reports, are an important tool for the FCA in maintaining oversight and ensuring compliance within the financial services industry.

The reports, authorised under the provisions of the Financial Services and Markets Act, entail an in-depth examination of the company.

Typically, accountants and lawyers are assigned the responsibility of conducting meticulous investigations into a company to scrutinise regulatory concerns and collect information to determine if any actions are necessary.

The recent number of reports in the insurance sector is significantly higher than what has been seen in recent quarters.

During the first quarter of the financial year, only one report was commissioned. Before this, in three out of four quarters, no reports related to general insurance were commissioned at all.

The second-quarter update for the current financial year disclosed that the FCA initiated 18 reports across various sectors within financial services.

Among these, the retail banking and payments sector led with eight skilled persons reports, surpassing general insurance and protection.

Of these 18 reports, the most significant focus was on controls and risk management frameworks. Following this was financial crime, with five reports, and conduct of business, with four.

A single report was commissioned to assess governance and individual accountability. However, the information did not specify the precise subjects of the general insurance reports.

According to Insurance Age, Regulatory consultant Branko Bjelobaba stated; “I feel the FCA’s use of skilled persons reports is to be welcomed because it allows the FCA to carry out incisive investigations as to what the issues are.”

“It frees up resources at the FCA because only credible firms are allowed to undertake this work. It is one of the key things in the FCA’s armoury, and is it be welcomed that they are continuing to happen in the general insurance space.”


Amazon Deploys Humanoid Robots to Increase Workforce Efficiency

Amazon is currently conducting trials with humanoid robots within its US warehouses, marking another step in the tech giant’s ongoing efforts to automate various aspects of its operations.

According to Amazon, the primary objective of this initiative is to enable employees to provide enhanced service to customers by reducing their workload.

The robot being tested is known as “Digit.” It possesses arms and legs, enabling it to perform movements such as grasping and handling items in a manner that is reminiscent of human capabilities.

A union representative stated that Amazon has been treating its workers as though they were machines for quite some time. He expressed concerns that Amazon’s automation efforts are rapidly displacing jobs, with many already vanishing in its fulfilment centres.

Amazon stated that their Robotics system had created “hundred of thousands of new jobs” within its operations. “This includes 700 categories of new job types, in skilled roles, which didn’t exist within the company beforehand,” the firm added.

The company explained that it now deploys over 750,000 robots to work alongside its human workforce, primarily handling highly repetitive tasks in a collaborative manner.

Tye Brady, the Chief Technologist of Amazon Robotics, emphasised during a media briefing in Seattle that people are “irreplaceable.” He rejected the idea that Amazon could have entirely automated warehouses in the future, underscoring the crucial role of human workers in their operations.

He stated; “There’s not any part of me that thinks that would ever be a reality. People are so central to the fulfilment process; the ability to think at a higher level, the ability to diagnose problems.”

Digit, Amazon’s robotic prototype, utilises legs for walking instead of wheels. It boasts arms capable of grasping and transporting various items, such as packages, containers, customer orders, and objects.

According to Scott Dresser of Amazon Robotics, this design enables Digit to navigate steps, stairs, and other areas within their facilities that involve vertical movement.

However, it’s essential to note that Digit is still in the prototype phase, and Amazon’s trial is focused on assessing its safe integration with human employees.

He stated; “It’s an experiment that we’re running to learn a little bit more about how we can use mobile robots and manipulators in our environment here at Amazon.”

Scott Dresser expressed that the concerns about human jobs being replaced didn’t align with the actual developments at Amazon.

“Our experience has been these new technologies actually create jobs, they allow us to grow and expand. And we’ve seen multiple examples of this through the robots that we have today.”

“They don’t always run unfortunately and we need people to repair them,” he added.

Amazon has been increasingly deploying robots in its operations to reduce costs.

In addition to the new humanoid robot trial, the company has experimented with a large robotic arm for picking up items. It has also employed wheeled robots for material transport within its warehouses and has initiated drone delivery services in two U.S. states as part of its automation efforts.


Lloyd's of London Warns: Insurers Unprepared for Full Climate Impact

Lloyd’s of London has cautioned insurers that, despite annual losses exceeding $100 billion due to natural disasters, the full impact of climate change has not yet manifested in claims data.

Insurance prices are rising as companies attempt to restore their margins, given years of substantial losses resulting from severe weather events damaging insured properties, compounded by rising reconstruction expenses. The warming of the planet has been identified as a significant contributing factor by both insurance experts and activists.

However, during a private gathering last month, an executive from the overseeing body of Lloyd’s market informed underwriters that they haven’t observed conclusive evidence to suggest that a warming climate is a primary driver of claims costs.

Kirsten Mitchell-Wallace, who serves as the Director of Portfolio Risk Management at the market, anticipates that this effect will indeed amplify future losses. She’s urging insurance companies to take immediate action by investing in advanced modelling and enhancing their underwriting practices.

According to the Financial times, Mitchell-Wallace stated; “Losses are already increasing, so climate change is likely to amplify these increases, by the time we can definitely see the impact in claims, it will be too late.”

The forecast implies that the significant increase in home and property insurance prices, which has already led to an affordability crisis for households and businesses located in vulnerable areas, is expected to continue rising.

Lloyd’s, a longstanding marketplace where brokers and insurers congregate to establish coverage for various risks, is a prominent global centre for property catastrophe reinsurance. This form of insurance pays out when homes or businesses suffer damage from events like hurricanes, storms, wildfires, and other disasters.

The insurance industry had to grapple with around $50 billion in losses during the first half of this year due to US thunderstorms, floods in New Zealand, and other natural catastrophes. This marked the second-worst start to a year since 2011, as reported by reinsurer Swiss Re. These recurring losses of around $100 billion annually have been referred to as the “new normal,” driven by factors including urban expansion.

Reinsurers, who share losses with primary insurers, have significantly raised their prices, with increases of up to 200% observed in January.

These price hikes have already stirred turmoil among direct insurers and played a role in decisions by insurers like State Farm to cease underwriting new home insurance in California. Last month, the California insurance commissioner took several executive actions aimed at stabilising the local insurance market.

Kirsten Mitchell-Wallace acknowledges that the impact of climate change varies depending on the region and the specific peril involved, whether it’s wind, fire, or flood. She advocates for a measured approach from the industry, suggesting investments in analytical technology should be directed toward the threats that pose a greater risk to insurers’ portfolios.

The upcoming January renewals will serve as a crucial test for the insurance market. Observers generally note a more orderly buildup than the previous year, when discussions were marked by tension as reinsurers sought more stringent terms and substantial premium increases.


Mind Matters: A REG Technologies Panel Event

In support of ‘Movember’ and to raise awareness of Men’s Mental Health, REG will be hosting a panel event on 14th November at 22 Bishopsgate, 4-7pm.

Join us for an open and insightful panel discussion focused on breaking down the barriers and fostering supportive environments.

Our speakers will be sharing their experiences and insight on the challenges men face regarding mental health at work and how we can work together to better support the wellbeing of our male colleagues.

Our expert panel includes:

Kent Bray, Therapeutic Counsellor, Life Coach & Mentor at Kent Bray Counselling:

“I am Australian. After a lifetime of achievement involving being a lawyer, doing post graduate studies at Oxford University, playing rugby for Australia Under 21’s, playing and coaching at London Harlequins and then having a successful 22 year career in the City, where I rose to the level of a Vice-President of Citibank, I descended into cocaine addition. I am now over 7 years clean and sober. I am currently a Therapeutic Counsellor, Life Coach and Mentor. I am VERY grateful.”

Ra-Venne Scholar, Senior Analyst at Goldman Sachs:

“I am an International Business (with Spanish) graduate from Nottingham Trent University. Prior to going to university I worked in education teaching and delivering enrichment services to schools. During university I spent time living and studying in both Spain and Barcelona, eventually graduating and joining a major global investment bank as an analyst in July 2021.”

Andrew Walker, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Manager at Ardonagh Advisory:

“Hi my name is Andy and I am the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Manager at Ardonagh Advisory. I have recently joined the Financial Services Industry, previous to this I worked in retail for 10 years doing various people management roles. I have led on many Mental Health initiatives in the past including being a trained Mental Health First Aider myself. My role specifically is to support leaders in understanding how they can create safe spaces so everyone feels comfortable to be themselves at work.”

“Ensuring we create environments where men feel supported is crucial, and raising awareness has never been more important, we can all do our bit to keep the conversation going,” states Marketing Manager, Zoë Parsons.

Please register here, and we hope to see you there to have a conversation that matters!

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