Sharon Bishop: BIBA and Close Brothers Premium Finance on the side of UK brokers

In an uncertain world, the best trade associations represent their members and provide clear leadership and direction for the industry they represent. The UK broking sector is well-served by BIBA, and the BIBA 2019 manifesto, published earlier this year, includes some thoughtful ‘asks,’ of politicians, regulators, and indeed all of us who work in broking and love broking. 
After the manifesto was launched earlier this year, Steve White, BIBA chief executive, and I discussed some of the issues raised. Please click on this link to watch the interview. Two issues I’m especially pleased to see BIBA’s commitment to are: diversity as part of inclusion in the work place, and health/well-being. 


Diversity & Inclusion

At CBPF we strongly back BIBA’s commitment to change. Everybody should be free to be themselves in the workplace, with so many career choices available to our best young talent, they don’t want to work in backward-facing industries, so we endorse moves to champion diversity as part of an inclusive work place. It really is a key ingredient in creating exciting, forward thinking companies.

Mental health and wellbeing

The manifesto also highlights the importance of providing support for mental health and well-being. BIBA has cited worrying data from Ecclesiastical, where one in five brokers said they suffered work-related depression. That’s a huge concern to me. At CBPF we’ve introduced mental health initiatives to help promote wellbeing among our colleagues. We’ve still got more to do in this space, but we are committed to progress. In line with BIBA’s commitment, we offer specialist employee assistance programmes and a trained team of mental health first aiders. We urge brokers to introduce their own policies in the workplace to support people who suffer from mental illness.  

Financial inclusion

CBPF works alongside brokers to make insurance more affordable for their commercial and personal lines customers. That means, that, through over 1,700 brokers, we help 2.4 million businesses and customers spread the cost of their insurance premiums. So, I welcome BIBA’s focus on financial inclusion, which is at the core of CBPF’s business model. We have worked extremely hard with the regulator and other stakeholders, including BIBA and our broking partners, to ensure continued access to insurance for with affordability concerns. 

Date night

Dating but not as we know it. This year BIBA has acknowledged the power of romance to change lives! In this case, however, it’s brokers and insurtech businesses falling for each other on BIBA’s dating panel. I welcome BIBA’s plans to bring together tech and broking to cut costs and improve services to customers. 
We seek out brokers who are on the technology path, for example in the telematics space, which has helped make insurance affordable for young drivers.Telematics is disruptive technology, and there are many other areas where tech businesses are keen to make a difference. Through our relationship with Munich Re digital partners we’ve engaged with a range of insurtech start-ups to provide solutions to help them collect insurance premiums, and we’re keen to sponsor more interaction between tech and broking this year. It’s an area that BIBA has identified as important in its manifesto and I’m keen to weigh in and support this initiative.

BIBA 2019

BIBA’s 2019 conference theme is ‘Leading the Way,’ and I am looking forward to hearing from a fascinating range of speakers, many of them leaders in their own fields. BIBA has shown its own appetite to lead the way through the 2019 manifesto, and at CBPF, we will play our own part in bringing it to life. In the meantime, I look forward to seeing our many friends in Manchester for BIBA 2019.