Incoming – or possibly now income – BIBA chairperson Lord Huntley Squirrel has just had a terrifying thought. We all know what a regulator is and what one of those does. They regulate, in case you haven’t already worked that out.

It’s actually a fairly standard English language construction: you take a verb and stick an -er or, if you want to be fancy, an -or (or, as in this case, just an -r) on the end, and hey-presto you have a noun designating someone or something that performs the action defined by the root verb.

So the regulator (our own favourite regulator being the FCA) regulates. But – and here’s Lord Huntley’s scary thought again – who is regulating the regulator? Logically, it must be a regulator regulator.

That’s what you’d think! But Lord H – having had his scary thought will obviously have looked into the matter thoroughly and it seems he’s found no sign of anything matching that description. It is surely the discovery of this apparent vacuum that has prompted him, his fears unallayed,  to ask out loud: “who regulates the regulator?”

Speaking at Insurance Age’s Broker Summit 2014 Lord Huntley said: “I’m not anti-regulation, but it worries me about [sic] who regulates the regulator.”

Assuming there is a regulator regulator out there somewhere, it seems unlikely that it could be Parliament, because, according to Lord H, Parliament is only interested in payday loans which, he stresses, “are only 3% of the market.” Prompting him to demand: “what about the other 97%?”

It would probably be good to find out who if anyone (or what if anything) is supposed to be playing the role of regulator regulator because Lord H says he suspects the motives of this seemingly unregulated regulator and fears it means insurance brokers harm.

While the search for the regulator regulator continues, Lord Huntley says that brokers should concentrate on explaining what insurance brokers are and what they do (or perhaps they could even encourage their representative body to do that for them).

Why should brokers be blowing their own horn? Because, whether the regulator appreciates it or not, ”the insurance broking sector is the place to go for choice, expert advice and assistance. That’s a brand and reputation,” Lord Huntly explains, “and that’s why we have every right to hold our heads up high.”

Let’s just hope no unregulated regulator tries to take that right away!

Though, with Lord H on the warpath, Bankstone News is willing to bet it wouldn’t dare.



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