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LONDON -- U.K. brokers made one more step toward self-regulation last week with the formation of an executive committee to guide the industry's transition away from government oversight.
Chaired by Anthony Howland Jackson, chairman of the Lloyd's Insurance Brokers' Committee, the newly formed executive committee will oversee the appointment of a chairman, chief executive and board of directors for "Newro" -- the provisional name for the independent regulatory body -- as well as establishing the direction it will take.
The executive committee includes: Simon Bolan, chairman of the British Insurance & Investment Brokers' Assn.; Tim Carroll, chairman-designate of the International Underwriting Assn., which will be created by the merger of the Institute of London Underwriters and the London International Insurance & Reinsurance Market Assn.; Albert Mills, chairman of the General Insurance Council at the Assn. of British Insurers; Max Taylor, chairman of Lloyd's of London; and Michael Slack, chairman-designate of the soon-to-be-formed Assn. of Insurance Intermediaries & Brokers, a new trade association for intermediaries.
"This is the first major phase in creating the new, totally independent, self-regulatory regime for general insurance," said Mr. Howland Jackson. The executive committee has agreed that its key objectives are to:
* Establish and enforce principles and rules designed to protect policyholders, taking into account the type of business and the customer's knowledge and experience. The regulatory program for commercial lines insurance is not expected to be as strict as that for selling personal lines such as homeowners insurance.
* Establish, promote, monitor and enforce high standards of integrity, financial soundness, fair dealing and competence for those it regulates.
* Ensure customers are informed about the products they are buying as well as their prices.
* Ensure systems are in place for dealing with consumer complaints and that redress is available.
The executive committee already has begun searching for Newro's chief executive, and it is in discussions with the U.K. Treasury -- the current regulatory authority -- about repealing existing legislation authorizing the Insurance Brokers' Registration Committee to regulate U.K. brokers.