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Post Magazine: Brokers urged to keep on top of SMCR as rules kick in

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From the Post Magazine

“You have to attest to the fitness and proprietary of your staff and evidence it,” he highlighted. A year from now nearly all staff become subject to conduct rules. Anyone behaving in a malicious and deliberate way can be held accountable by the FCA which is brand new, Bjelobaba said. While there is plenty of time for firms to undertake the training a key point is that this cannot be a blanket style approach. When explaining the rules to staff it must be in the context of their particular role in the company, compliance experts stressed. “It is more than box ticking,” Bjelobaba said. “It is taking ownership of conduct and behaviour and instilling in your team that your own personal conduct is on the line. “This is not Mickey Mouse. It is statutory law. If you break this you break the law.”

In his opinion the FCA is employing more people for front line supervision and is ready to catch and “feel the collar” of people not taking it seriously. “It is an enhanced level of trust. This is a transition to an even better state of compliance and culture.”

Insurance Times: FCA responds to staff misdemeanours amid leaked letter storm

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From the Insurance Times

However, some believe that the FCA should have been “ultra-honest” and sent the letter to the press themselves.

Branko Bjelobaba added: “[The FCA] ask all regulated firms to act with integrity and to be open and honest with them, yet they try and hide their own issues.  I was of the opinion that they only hired staff of the highest calibre – professional, steadfast, leaders, movers and shakers – there to lead the financial services profession, but to have staff poo and wee on the bog floor demands that they clean up their act pronto.”

He told Insurance Times that to have “women knocking back alcohol and then dumping the bottles in the sanitary bins” suggested there are concerning staff issues that are not being dealt with, contradicting the ethos of today’s world of employment.

Post Magazine: Jaw-dropping behaviour at the FCA

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From the Post Magazine

“Those that lead the financial services industry should uphold good manners. The FCA pays very decent money to its staff and they’ve got a purpose-built building just for them so how all that can happen is really odd. If it’s expecting people in financial services to stand up and be honourable and accountable, then that should start at the FCA.” Branko highlighted the disposal of alcohol bottles in sanitary bins at the regulator’s offices: “Drinking during the day and putting the bottle in a sanitary bin suggests that there is a problem that the FCA should be looking at. Even if it can’t identify the individual, it needs to put out something that says, ‘we’re happy to talk to you.”

Insurance Times: Brokers urged to act on tradesmen fees

Please note that the full interview/article (which will include contributions from others) is available direct from the provider’s site and that copyright applies to the whole article – therefore my contribution only has been quoted.

From the Insurance Times

Branko Bjelobaba, founder of compliance consultants Branko Ltd, told Insurance Times that this might be because a lot is going on in general insurance and that the FCA want firms to “really think” about their response.

He warned that brokers and insurers need to think about the issue carefully, as the FCA is on the lookout for irregularities and inappropriateness involving bad products, poor service, lack of transparency and even why distribution chains might take so long.

“A lot of firms don’t engage with the FCA,” Bjelobaba added, be it because of apathy, fear, laziness or inertia. He referenced the regulator’s “live and local” event last week in Cambridge where only seven firms turned up.

But the regulator is on a mission to change this.

Post Magazine: Collapse of Lamp

Please note that the full interview/article (which will include contributions from others) is available direct from the provider’s site and that copyright applies to the whole article – therefore my contribution only has been quoted.

From the Post Magazine

Brokers may also face issues beyond arranging alternative cover. Branko Bjelobaba, an insurance compliance consultant, said that by using poorly capitalised unrated insurers, brokers could leave themselves exposed to law suits.

“Most of these offshore insurers, because capital requirements are less than they are in the UK, can afford to discount their premiums heavily because the amount of solvency they require is less,” he said.“But then if they go insolvent, as has happened in Denmark and Gibraltar and other countries, then the broker is at risk, because they could be sued by their clients on a professional negligence basis.

“For brokers thinking of using offshore – unless their risk is really odd, why would you think it’s a good idea to place offshore? I don’t think it’s a good idea at all. “You have to explain to a client: it’s because I want bigger commission, you want a cheaper deal so I will place you offshore, are you happy with that? The client needs to buy in to the decision rather than be told ‘this is a regulated insurer within European Union or European Economic Area’.”