GreenKite visiting CII Leeds – delivering training to its members

Last week, team GreenKite went to Leeds to provide a training session for the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII), discussing the crucial aspects of compliance and their impact on the insurance landscape. GreenKite’s CEO Sara Ager, regulatory expert Marcus Tompson, compliance expert in general and financial planning Kris Bryant, and Chair of Emerald Life and friend of GreenKite, Steve Wardlaw, covered topics such as Consumer Duty, vulnerable customers, product governance, and culture, presenting an in-depth analysis of the challenges and opportunities facing the insurance sector today.

Consumer Duty and Regulatory Impact

The discussions started by considering the recent regulatory changes, notably Consumer Duty, and what it has meant for the insurance market almost 6 months in. Concerns were voiced about the impact on both small and large industry players, with a spotlight on commission structures, distribution chains, and the delicate balance between regulatory objectives and market competition.

Vulnerable Customers: ethical data handling and product design

The second session covered some of the inherent challenges around customer vulnerability and its identification within the constraints of the financial services sector. The team talked about the ethical considerations in data recording and the challenges in claims processing. They highlighted the need for responsible data recording practices, underlining the importance of avoiding documenting distressing situations unless necessary. The conversation provided additional insights into the difficulties in processing claims and recommended a detailed and careful method that considers individuals’ legally protected attributes like race, gender, and age.

The discussion focused on the importance of considering people’s vulnerabilities when designing products. It highlighted that the industry often struggles to think about these issues at the start of the design process. Everyone agreed that it’s better to actively include these considerations from the beginning, instead of just checking them off a list. They urged for a smooth integration of these vulnerability factors into the development of products and how they are presented to consumers.

Product Governance: challenges and future considerations

Product governance and distribution challenges took centre stage in the third session. The participants explored challenges in consumer understanding, especially in the IFA and general insurance spaces. Concerns were raised about the impact of price comparison websites on insurance products and the potential shift toward a more advisory-focused market.

The market’s future was a key topic, with discussions around the coexistence of niche products and mass-market offerings. The delicate balance between profitability and providing personalised advice, particularly for smaller investments, arose as a significant concern.

Culture: shaping organisational values

The final session examined the complexities of organisational culture. Sales and culture challenges were brought to the forefront, highlighting instances where individual remuneration targets often overshadowed understanding customer needs. Smaller firms with positive cultures were celebrated for experiencing minimal customer and employee churn, underscoring the shift from a numbers-driven approach to a customer-centric focus.

The challenges posed by remote work in conveying organisational culture to new joiners were discussed, reinforcing the limitations of remote work in education, training, and demonstrating good practices. The experts drew attention to the distinction between naturally good and forced cultures, highlighting the need for genuine, ingrained values.

The training session captured many perspectives, insights, and practical considerations. From regulatory changes impacting market dynamics to the ethical handling of vulnerability in data recording, and from the challenges in product governance to the nuances of shaping organisational culture, the discussions provided a 360-degree view of the insurance landscape.

We would like to thank the CII Leeds team for hosting us and allowing us to engage with its members. It was a pleasure sharing insights and exchanging ideas within the Leeds insurance community.

Interested in discovering how GreenKite can benefit your business? Please contact Nadia Timmer at [email protected] for more information.

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