BIBA calls for remain in single market


The British Insurance Brokers’ Association (Biba) has written to the government and called for the UK to remain in the single market in order to support UK insurance brokers.

The trade association, alongside the London Market Group (LMG) and the London and International Insurance Brokers’ Association (LIIBA), has outlined 11 key points for the government to consider following the referendum vote which saw the UK elect to leave the EU.

Biba stated in the letter that the three most important matters they want the government to consider are:

1. Remain in the single market (with passporting capacity) or have access to it with regulatory equivalence

2. The UK Regulator to be given a statutory objective in supporting international competitiveness

3. To achieve a positive solution for UK staff working in Europe and EU nationals working at our member firms in the UK

The letter said of the single market and passporting: “The ability to passport both into (to obtain customers) and out of the EU (to use EU insurers to increase competition and choice for customers) is critical to maintaining the level of trade that the UK currently benefits from.”

Biba stated in the letter: “Many of our member firms enjoy the benefits of tariff-free cross-border trade within the European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA).

“Partly as a result of this freedom, the UK is the third largest insurance market in the world and enjoys a balance of trade surplus in insurance-based products.p.

“Much of this will be at risk if the UK were to lose the ability to trade freely with the EU.”

On regulation, the letter read: “In a post-Brexit economy, regulation will be an even bigger factor for foreign investors in deciding where to place capital investment and it is vital that our regulatory regime helps the UK actively compete.”

The 11 issues of concern explained in the document were the single market and passporting; equivalence regime; the imperative of UK regulatory reform; captive insurance arrangements; maintaining employment opportunities; motor insurance cover; travel insurance; acquisition activity – HM Government must ensure that barriers are not raised against UK brokers looking to acquire EU domiciled businesses; under-insurance risk for customers; taxation; and, opportunities with trade credit insurance.

A key request from the association was that Government to consider tax exemptions and relief that would benefit UK business.

It also said of regulation: “To continue the free flow of business between the EU and the UK, it is important that our regulatory regimes remain comparable. This must be agreed regardless of Brexit…”