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FIA - Response to New Brokers Council announcement

02 December 2009 Financial Intermediaries Association (FIA)
Seamus Casserly, President of the FIA

Seamus Casserly, President of the FIA

Responding to statements by an entity calling itself the New Brokers Council (NBC), the Financial Intermediaries Association of Southern Africa (FIA) has stated that it has not been involved in any discussions with other industry bodies regarding further changes to the commission structure around life insurance products.

“On behalf of the FIA, we can categorically state that no negotiations have taken place between the FIA and FSB or any other party on the issue of life insurance commissions,” said Seamus Casserly, President of the FIA. “The FIA has received formal confirmation from the Financial Services Board (FSB) that this issue has not been the subject of any evaluation by or discussions between the FSB and other parties.

“We want to reassure all our members, stakeholders and other interested parties that the FIA exists to represent the best interests of its 16 000-plus financial services intermediary members and those of their clients.”

The FIA’s main objectives include promoting unity among intermediaries in the industry, elevating their professional image, improving transparency levels and working with government by providing input on policy and other issues. “To enter into secret discussions would be at odds with our vision and values and we would never put the Association or its members’ businesses at risk,” said Casserly.

“The FSB has committed to the FIA - as the dominant representative body for intermediaries - that it would consult with the FIA on any issue under consideration which may affect our members, including commissions on life insurance products” he said.

The FIA believes that the needs of consumers, suppliers and intermediaries should be carefully balanced. With this in mind, some time ago the Association established and tasked a committee to develop an appropriate philosophy concerning the remuneration of intermediaries. This committee would also be responsible for engaging with the regulator if and when a decision is taken to address the issue of life product commissions.

The FIA continues to engage with government and represent its members’ best interests on all issues affecting their businesses.

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