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Wedlock calls on brokers to support NIBA

National Insurance Brokers Association (NIBA) President Tim Wedlock has called on brokers to support the association as it strives to “help brokers stand tall” by protecting their reputation as trusted professionals.

Opening the annual NIBA Convention in Sydney this morning, he told delegates the association is focusing on its “three core pillars of professionalism, representation and community”.

He says NIBA has been successful in protecting insurance brokers from onerous government legislation, including negotiating an exemption to the requirement for financial services intermediaries to have university degrees. 

However, he says there is a need to raise the minimum education standard for brokers.

“Frankly, Tier 1 for advice is not enough,” he said. “If we don’t [raise education standards], it won’t take long until we will end up like other areas in the financial services sector.”

NIBA has also negotiated a “realistic” level of funding to support the Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s new $240 million funding model, and will continue to work on proposals to raise the Financial Ombudsman Service’s (FOS) jurisdiction level to $1 million, Mr Wedlock says.

Arguing against the need for a higher limit and for higher costs for regulatory oversight, he says 6500 complaints were made to FOS against insurers last financial year, and only 344 were made against brokers. “The majority of complaints affecting brokers were resolved without a determination needing to be reached.”

He says a recent Roy Morgan poll that places brokers among the least-trusted professionals in Australia must be regarded seriously by brokers. “I am not sure where these polls come from, but we have work to do to lift the rankings. We are all better than that.”

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