Insurance Post

Digby Jacks: a dedicated trade unionist and a great friend to the All Party Insurance & Financial Services Group

JACKS, Digby, Amicus.jpgI was deeply saddened earlier this week to hear of the recent death of Digby Jacks, who many in the insurance industry will remember as assistant general secretary of AMICUS (and before that the Manufacturing, Science and Finance union). He was also the long-serving secretary of the trade union federation Alliance for Finance and worked tirelessly in that capacity to ensure that the views of ordinary workers in the financial services sector were properly represented to Parliament and ministers.

Despite his left-wing background - he was a high profile Communist when he won the presidency of the National Union of Students in 1971 - his easy manner and natural charm ensured that he could establish friendly and intelligent working relationships with the Conservative MPs who have inevitably tended to dominate the debates on financial services over the years. He quickly built one such constructive rapport with John Greenway when John was elected chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Insurance & Financial Services in 1993 and over the years Digby arranged several dinners for representatives of Alliance for Finance with the group. These were always highly informative as well as remarkably convivial occasions, a reflection of Digby's personality.

It was at one of these dinners that MPs were first put on notice of the looming payment protection (PPI) insurance scandal when the trade unions representing bank and building society counter staff complained of the pressure that their members were being put under to sell PPI, saying that the only way they could reach the targets they were set would be to miss-sell the product.

Digby was also a good supporter of Post Magazine, rarely missing one of our Parliamentary receptions (he is pictured here at one in 2003) and often contributing to the magazine.

He is still held in high regard in the worlds of student and education politics as the tributes on the National Union of Students website eloquently demonstrate.

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