Our CEO Sharon Bishop discusses how partnership holds the key to a thriving broking sector.
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Has the UK been saved by technology? From where I stand, I have no doubt that technology, and our dedicated and motivated colleagues, enabled Close Brothers Premium Finance (CBPF) to operate successfully during the lockdown. We provided laptops, softphones and other specialist kit for colleagues working remotely, and we will continue to use this kit as the world gets used to the new normal.
It meant that, working with our broking partners, we were able to keep business moving. Renewals were agreed, financing arranged, and millions of customers could get affordable cover. Our Payment Services technology, which enables a commercial broker to offer their clients a quick and easy way to choose and process premium payment options, is a great solution to meet the demands of ‘the new normal,’ and we anticipate growing demand for this service to spread the cost of insurance, especially if premiums continue to rise.
Commentators have been writing off the broking sector for decades, yet time and again, brokers have shown how they can flex and adapt to change.
Post pandemic will be no different, although I am not alone in believing that big changes are on the way. Such as, fewer independent brokers, and/or personal lines brokers looking to write small commercial, powered by new technology, and a renewed focus on niche and specialist business. All these changes were predicted before the pandemic, but the pandemic has significantly accelerated the pace of change.
Forward thinking suppliers like CBPF are moving with the times too. Payment Services technology already anticipated the move away from cash, and was designed to help brokers to help business owners better manage their cashflow, but the pandemic has put a rocket under the system.
Looking ahead, we will continue to champion partnerships with our broking partners. It is in all our interests that brokers thrive and prosper, so we have created new ways to support them, for example by making our data scientists available to help them resolve specific data analytic issues in their brokerages in order to boost performance and drive better outcomes for customers
Elsewhere, our complimentary CPD-accredited sales training programme will improve broking partners’ sales team’s performance when selling products and premium finance, creating a virtuous circle where everyone benefits.
While governments have largely acted alone to deal with Covid-19, the global scientific community has risen above politics and worked across borders and boundaries in search of a vaccine. That spirit of cooperation is a lesson for our own sector. Working together for the benefit of our customers will be key to the success of our industry in the decade to come.