Marsh Comments on EC Competition/Transparency Report

September 28, 2007

Marsh UK has issued a bulletin indicating that it believes the “decision by the EU Competition Commission to investigate certain aspects of broker remuneration as part of the planned review of the Insurance Mediation Directive should lead to a better deal for clients” (See IJ web site Sept. 26).

In its comment on the report Marsh said it agreed with the EC’s conclusion that “in order for clients to be able to make fully informed choices about their insurance and risk arrangements, national markets must operate as a level playing field on standards of transparency and disclosure.”

Alex Moczarski, CEO of Marsh for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, commented: “The Competition Commission report makes clear that a culture of transparency is the key to ensuring that insurance organisations put clients at the centre of everything they do. This report is to be welcomed, in particular for providing a clear path towards enhanced disclosure and greater transparency.

“As in its interim report, the Commission continues to question the continued accepting of contingent commissions by some brokers. In particular, it notes that these have the potential ‘to undermine fair competition in the insurance market around terms and conditions of cover, service and insurers’ financial strength’. We believe that this is further evidence that, in the interest of clients, this practice should end.

“For clients in the SME sector, the Commission is right to note that ‘competitive market dynamics in relation to the price of mediation services appear limited, at best.’ Insufficient and inconsistent disclosure practices around broker remuneration impede the making of fair comparisons. We believe that it is our clients that have the most to benefit from enhanced disclosure and a level playing field among intermediaries and we hope the Commission’s findings will be given very serious consideration by regulators and the industry across the EU.”

Source: Marsh UK – www.mmc.com

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