The All Party Parliamentary Group on Insurance & Financial Services exists to promote communication and dialogue between the insurance and retail financial services sectors and Members of Parliament. It is a well established group with a broad membership drawn from both the Commons and the Lords.
The group has tackled a wide range of issues over the years and played a significant part in the formation of Pool Re, the introduction of equalisation reserves, securing compensation for people miss-sold home reversion plans and getting tougher action on uninsured driving. Over the last two years it played a major role in finding a solution to the challenge of providing insurance for flood-prone properties.
It meets frequently with regulators and a wide range of organisations representing interests in the insurance and wider retail financial services sector, including consumer groups.
The group was launched in January 1991 following an initiative by Post Magazine, the leading weekly magazine for the insurance industry to improve communication between the insurance industry and Parliament. It has since widened its brief to embrace broader retail financial services and pensions issues.
As part of its 150th anniversary celebrations in 1990, the magazine set out to improve communications between the insurance industry and Parliament which were then at a low ebb. A series of major pieces of legislation had gone through over the previous three or four years that had adversely impacted on the insurance industry and it was frequently the target of unjustified criticism by MPs and ministers.
Consultation with interested MPs led to the proposal to form an All Party Group and potential members from both the House of Commons and House of Lords were approached during the autumn of 1990 and sufficient numbers had signed up by the end of November for the formation of the group to be announced at Post Magazine's 2nd Parliamentary Reception that November.
The late Sir Robert McCrindle, who was the British Insurance Brokers' Association's Parliamentary advisor at the time, was the first chairman of the group. When he stood down from Parliament in 1992, another of the group's founder members, John Greenway, was elected chairman. Labour Peer Baroness Turner of Camden was elected as deputy chairman at the inaugural meeting, a post she held until after the 2010 General Election.
John Greenway stood down as an MP in 2010, as did some of the other long-serving officers such as Sir John Butterfill. The group was quickly re-formed after the 2010 General Election and former trade minister and MEP, Jonathan Evans was elected as chair. Following the 2015 General Election at which Mr Evans stood down, former Lloyd's broker Heather Wheeler was elected chairman of the group. Further details of officers can be found here.
There are currently nearly fifty members of the group drawn from both Houses of Parliament and all the main political parties. Members and Officers June 2015
In 1992 the group appointed Price Waterhouse (now PricewaterhouseCoopers) as its technical advisers to provide briefings for its meetings and additional technical support, especially when representations have been made to the Treasury or other Government departments. PWC also produces minutes of most of the public meetings of the group and they can be found here.
The group holds regular meetings and full details of those that are open to the public can be found on the programme page. Minutes and reports from many of the meetings are also available to the public.
Its brief ranges across the entire insurance and retail financial services sector. The administrative and secretarial support is still provided by Post's publishers, Incisive Media, through the Content Director of the insurance brands, Jonathan Swift, and he arranges the programme for the group in consultation with the officers.
If you would like to be added to the mailing lists for programme updates please contact Jonathan Swift.
Paul Jardine has been named CEO of XL Catlin and Catlin Insurance Company UK syndicate, succeeding Andrew McMellin.
Venture Insurance has purchased Poole Martin which will see the company placing premiums of £13m per year.
There has been a 13% reduction in the amount of insurance fraud reported by the industry, according to government statistics.
The Association of British insurers has lost an appeal to government on the judicial review on changes to the discount rate for personal injury damages.