The European Commission has published a revised Insurance Mediation Directive (IMD II), outlining changes to insurance broker regulation across Europe.
The British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) is pleased that the Commission has taken on board two of the main points made by both BIBA and the European Federation of Insurance and Financial Intermediaries (BIPAR) during the development process of this directive text.
BIBA made strong representations to the Commission that the scope of the directive should remain wide and is therefore pleased to see that both price comparison websites and travel agents are specifically listed as being within the scope of the new directive.
BIBA also made representations that both the disclosure and professional requirements articles should apply to all firms within the scope of the directive and is pleased that the Commission has reflected this within the new text.
However, BIBA is very disappointed that the Commission has ignored the views of EIOPA (the European Insurance and Occupational Pension Authority), HM Treasury, the Financial Services Authority and all the leading insurance broking representative bodies in Europe by imposing a five year timetable to mandate the disclosure of commission in the general insurance sector.
Furthermore BIBA is extremely concerned that the Commission has not fully reflected the level playing field in respect of an insurer equivalent to remuneration disclosure. BIBA will be working with members to propose an alternative wording on this issue.
Steve White, BIBA Head of Compliance and Training, said: “We are pleased that the majority of points that we have made to the Commission have been taken on board in this text, but we still have major concerns in some areas. Our primary concern is around mandatory disclosure and where it is imperative from a European perspective that a level playing field is established with insurers when selling direct.”
Eric Galbraith, BIBA Chief Executive, added: “BIBA alongside BIPAR, will in the coming months, continue to actively promote its detailed views during the final stages towards the definitive adoption of the Directive by the EU co-legislators, the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers.”
The IMD text now enters the European legislative process and is expected to be finalised and published in late 2013 or early 2014, with an implementation no later than two years after.