January 3, 2014

Is it a regulator? No.

Is it a trade body that represents insurance broking firms’ interests? No!

Is it an educational institute? No, not that either!

Is it a commercial entity selling products? Not even that!

“Well, WTF is it, then” you may wonder.

Why, it’s newly launched non-regulating, non-representative, non-educational, non-commercial body, the IBS Council (Insurance Brokers’ Standards Council)!

“What is it here for?” you may further wonder.

Basically, it’s here to set some standards for what it means to be professional in the world on insurance broking or perhaps more specifically to be a Practising Insurance Broker (or PIB for short).

Some words freshly posted on the IBS Council’s website say this:

“There has been much talk over the last few years about raising standards, and many insurance brokers and non-insurance brokers have offered their opinions about how to achieve this. The underlying problem is that one cannot consider raising standards until there is a set of standards in the first place.”

“Of course!” you will probably be thinking. “Why hasn’t anyone spotted this sooner?!” How, indeed, can you raise a standard, if you don’t have one in the first place? Only once you have established some standards can you then replace them with some other standards that are higher!

Insisting that only insurance brokers are qualified to decide the standards to which insurance brokers should be expected to adhere (a position with which the FCA may yet see fit to quibble), the IBS Council now plans to have a think about what standards a broker might have to meet in order to be considered a PIB, following which they can then presumably take those standards and raise them.

Bankstone News remains confused only by the bit about how the people involved in setting up the IBS Council are described on their website as being PIBs already. How can that be?

Isn’t meeting a standard that’s yet to be set every bit as impossible as raising a standard that’s yet to be set?

Perhaps they’ve travelled back in time from some future insurance broking utopia where every broker is a PIB.

IBS logo


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