Advisers do not stand alone when it comes to regulation and Europe. Paul Robertson talks to Steve White, your man in Brussels
One of the givens for a COVER interview is that the interviewer has a vague idea of what the subject does for a living in a day-to-day sense.
In Steve White's case, as head of compliance and training at the British Insurance Brokers Association (BIBA), this is a little hard to pin down and begged the question: what do you actually do?
It seems the way in which BIBA deals with its members and regulatory issues varies. At one end, it deals with a range of regulatory questions from members and produces updates on regulatory developments.
"If the FSA publishes a paper, for example, we'll pick out the key bits in plain language and post it on our website for our members to have a look at," he explained.
"We publish a quarterly hard copy publication called Compliance Rules, and we have 13 regions at BIBA each puts on informal compliance forums."
It is at these that White gathers a sense of what members think on the issues affecting them before he takes then onto the next level… the political meetings, including Europe where BIBA is a participant in the European Federation of Insurance Intermediaries (BIPAR).
White said: "I sit on the directors' committee and we've met every other month for three years now, discussing the forthcoming revision of the Insurance Mediation Directive.
"The job entails the whole thing, from looking into the future; to seeing what's happening at the European level with directives; talking to politicians, civil servants, regulators about the current developments; and then going back and talking to members about this is what's coming and how it'll affect you."
On the horizon
What's coming over the horizon for the adviser? White is involved with several issues at both European and FSA level.
"We are on a working group of trade associations with the FSA on how the supervision of insurance brokers will look going forward," he said.
We're on a working group at the FSA that is revising client money rules.
We'll also be heavily involved with the FSA's Industry Advisory Group on the revisions to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme."
These are general issues, as is fitting for BIBA's broadly general insurance-based membership. But White also engages in the protection and health insurance arenas.
Surprisingly, he said the removal of gender underwriting issue was not entirely decided.
The EU held an expert group meeting in June on what happens next on gender, which White attended.
The news that the ABI and British Medical Association (BMA) agreement on GP report (GPR) fees has broken down will usher in a period of uncertainty.
Lack of innovation investment in the UK insurance market has been highlighted by recognition of RGA's work in the US.
Protection business in 2012 and 2013 will be affected by events this year and some fundamental changes to the way customers policies are priced into the next. Richard Verdin explains.
Employee assistance programmes are in the spotlight due to a schizophrenic approach by government. But as Sue Weir points out, they are backed by solid research.
How will people buy insurance in future? Greg Becker visits the US for developments in online distribution.