The British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) has reached an agreement with the Worldwide Broker Network (WBN) to allow BIBA members to be able to work with their EU clients post-Brexit. The agreement between the two organisations will facilitate the introduction of BIBA member firms to a WBN member firm in an EU state, in order to enable them to continue to work with EU-based clients.
Graeme Trudgill, BIBA executive director, said: “In our survey of members last year, we asked what concerns they had about the UK’s impending exit from the EU. One of the most common and worrying was the issue around continuing to help EU clients with renewals, claims handling and placement post-Brexit. As soon as we had the results of the survey, we began looking for a solution and working with WBN is the obvious choice.”
WBN has at least one member operating in each EU country, which are all subject to checks on their regulatory status, said BIBA. WBN was founded in 1989, and has grown from nine member firms in western Europe to more than 100 firms spanning the globe and serving clients through 500-plus offices on six continents.
Alec Finch, a founder and board member of WBN, said: “We were delighted to work with BIBA on this matter. We are still unaware of what provisions may be in place for cross-border trading and this arrangement makes perfect sense for UK-based brokers. Importantly, once the introduction is made, the two broking firms will have complete control of their relationship and terms of business, which means they can agree a collaboration that fits the clients’ needs.”
BIBA said Brexit raises a number of issues that could seriously impact insurance brokers and their customers. It noted that as of August 2016, 2,758 UK insurance brokers possessed passports to trade in the EU and 5,727 EU intermediaries held permissions to passport into the UK, with 726 insurers also passporting into the UK from the EU.
Steve White, BIBA chief executive, said: “This important agreement will provide some certainty and continuity to BIBA members and their EU clients in the absence of a trade agreement providing access to the single market. It’s an example of great synergy between two organisations responding to BIBA member concerns.”