Welcome to the February edition of REG Reviews. This month we look at cloud-based technology and the £250 million deal for Freeway with Sabre. Read this along with our usual update from REG and the REG Tech sector.
UK Brokers are behind on cloud-based technology and set to learn from Netflix and Amazon
“Few brokers in the UK called out the cloud as being of importance and significance,” according to Dave Chapman, Chief Revenue Officer at Applied Systems Europe.
As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent demand for self-service solutions, according to the insurance software company’s annual research, the adoption of cloud-based technology for brokers has increased.
Cloud-based technology provides the means of having the ability to store and access data and programs over the internet instead of on a hard drive, allowing multiple brokers to access files and applications from almost any device.
The software company’s sixth annual Applied Digital Broker Survey, (which polled 1,819 independent brokers in the UK, Ireland, US, and Canada Q1 2021), found that 86% of brokers with revenues between £2.5 million and £4.9 million use the cloud. Bigger brokers with a revenue of £25 million or more had a low take-up of cloud technology at only 62%, while 79% of small brokers that have a revenue of less than £1.25 million are using the cloud to host their software. We believe not enough Brokers are utilising this technology.
Chapman believes insurance customers expect more readily available access to self-serve purchase models thanks to general online consumer experiences with services such as Netflix and Amazon. “It’s about reacting to consumer requirements, but also what makes the broker more efficient.”
Lloyd’s reveals operational structure for Blueprint Two programme
During the month of January, Lloyd’s has revealed a new operational structure in order to carry out its Blueprint Two programme. The Blueprint Two programme is a two-year initiative that will deliver profound change for the market through digitalisation. Chief financial officer (CFO), Burkhard Keese, will take on the role of Chief Operations Officer
(COO), while Bob James, Director of Market Transformation, will be responsible for the delivery of the company’s Blueprint Two programme. The move follows the departure of Jennifer Rigby, Lloyd’s COO.
Jennifer commented; “It has been both a privilege and a pleasure to help the Corporation and Lloyd’s market on its modernisation journey. Together we have made solid progress, enabling the market to adapt seamlessly to remote working during the pandemic.
REG Technologies wins Placement Provider of the year!
This month REG Technologies was awarded Placement Provider of the Year (SME) by Nottingham Trent University. Hosted by Professor Edward Peck, Vice-Chancellor of NTU and Debra Easter, Director of Employability the annual event recognises and celebrates the outstanding contributions and achievements NTU students and placement providers make during a placement year in industry.
Alongside IBM, REG Technologies was awarded as SME Placement Provider of the Year. Thank you to our last year’s Marketing intern Zoe Parsons for nominating us and Nottingham Trent University for a wonderful Afternoon.
The British Insurance Brokers’ Association focuses on ‘managing risk’ for its 2022 manifesto
The British Insurance Brokers’ Association picked the theme ‘managing risk’ for its 2022 manifesto which takes in several key issues including the hard market, IPT and regulation. The manifesto was launched in Westminster to an audience of ministers, MPs, senior Government officials, insurance professionals and the media on 25th January 2022.
The REG Technologies March networking event
Following a successful networking event hosted by ourselves last December, REG Technologies will be holding another event at the beginning of March. We look forward to joining other industry professionals as we look forward to seeing what the rest of 2022 holds for both REG and the industry.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to receive details for the upcoming and future events.
International Underwriting Association reveals 2022 business plan
The International Underwriting Association (IUA) has published its business plan for 2022, setting out clear focuses around climate risk, business interruption, regulatory changes and pandemic responses. The IUA has set out several initiatives that support the digital transformation of central processing services in the London market, which will be largely conducted through a new joint venture agreement with DXC Technology and Lloyd’s.
Dave Matcham, IUA’s Chief Executive, said; “Our most important task is assisting our members to effectively transfer and help mitigate the most pressing risks faced by their clients.”
Freeway UK Insurance Services secures deal with Sabre Insurance Group
The deal will stretch over five years and will see Sabre become an exclusive underwriting partner for Freeway’s MGA portfolio.
Taxi and courier insurance specialist, Freeway UK Insurance Services, has appointed Sabre Insurance Group as an exclusive underwriting partner for its MGA portfolio.
The £250m deal will stretch over a period of five years, during which the motor insurer will underwrite Freeway’s insurance policies for private hire, executive hire, public hire, courier and Uber drivers.
FCA staff vote with 87% in favour of industrial action
The Financial Conduct Authority’s Unite members have voted ‘yes’ in support of industrial action against the regulator’s proposed cuts to pay and conditions.
A ballot saw 87% of staff supporting a strike action against proposed cuts to pay and conditions as Unite accuses CEO, Rathi, of “waging war” on staff. Sharon Graham, Unites General Secretary stated: “The employees are telling FCA bosses that the proposed changed are damaging and destroying any remaining goodwill the staff had.”
The vote for industrial action came in the form of a non-binding indicative ballot held from 24th – 31st January 2022. If the FCA’s CEO, Nikhil Rathi, refuses to come to the negotiating table, the next step will be to hold a formal statutory ballot. Unite stated they have approached the mediation service Acas to resolve the dispute.
The House of Lords starts hearing evidence in insurance market regulation inquiry
The Committee will explore whether regulatory policy is well-designed and proportionately applied, and the possibilities for improving regulation following Brexit. The inquiry, which began on the 25th of January 2022, considered the roles of the Bank of England and Financial Conduct Authority to assess the effect of regulation on customers and the market’s global competitiveness.
Broker consolidation calls on REG for help
During this week alone, Arthur J Gallagher and Co confirmed its purchase of motorbike and motorhome specialist broker, Devitt Insurance Services. So far in 2022, the industry has also seen M&A announcements from the likes of The Clear Group, PIB Group and BGL Insurance.
Upon speaking to industry commentators, many conclude that the FCA is partly to blame, due to major escalation of regulatory requirements, from broker bosses being on the hunt for new, larger parent companies which are ready with an in-house, full-time compliance team to dot the I’s and cross the T’s.
For example, Mike Crane, Managing Director at LV=Broker told editor Katie Scott: “The importance of brokers having a deep understanding of regulatory changes and their obligations continues to grow and as an area of strategic importance.” “Larger firms are in a better place to have internal capability to manage this and no doubt this will increasingly be an area driving consolidation as firms look to the best way to respond to regulatory changes.”
Manchester Underwriting Management Director, Richard Webb, stated that full-time compliance roles were not the norm in the insurance industry a while ago, however now they are becoming increasingly common. “We all recognise the importance of having a properly regulated industry but listening to brokers you often hear that their time is increasingly taken up with regulatory compliance work. It would be interesting to get a definitive number on how much time the regulatory compliance work takes up when running an insurance broker compared to 10 years ago. It will definitely have increased.”
It is vital businesses stay on top of any new requirements given by the FCA. REG Technologies are a proven first line of defence to mitigate commercial, credit, regulatory (conduct) and reputational risk around all your B2B partners. Our simple to use platform:
- Keeps you up to date with all FCA mandated checks on any of your business connections
- Allows you to monitor compliance and regulatory obligations
We will keep you one step ahead, always. So instead of finding yourselves in the dark, let REG Technologies assist and keep you in the light faster, smarter, and safer.