The MGAA, in common with the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) and other professional bodies, have a member’s Code of Ethics.
MGAA members are of a corporate nature and when a senior employee of that firm agrees to be a member of the association, they are signing up to the code. Moreover, they are lso agreeing to cascade the code down to their employees.
The CII being an individual membership organisation expects their members to sign up and adhere to their code.
Both of these codes, and others not mentioned here, are designed to ensure that firms and the individuals behaviour towards their client and or supplier base is of an ethical nature. It is not designed to ensure compliance with any regualtory requirements, but is like the insurance doctrine “uberrimae fidei” or utmost good faith towards those with whom we trade, or where we trade on their behalf. Whereas conduct can be defined as being centered around standards of behaviour, especially within the work environment, ethics is much wider. It does address standards of behaviour but it looks at how corporate decisions are taken. This was identified by the FCA in TR15/7 when they looked at the distribution of products via an MGA. They were concerned with how the distribution mechanism worked, who had overall authority, where it was sold nd the services surrounding that product.
Ethics is driven by the main board of the firm they they cascade down to “grass roots level”. It is supported by strong monitoring and controls and embrases a culture of conitnued education. It is expected that firms will be transparent in their dealings both interally and externally and to uphold the good name of their carriers.
A firms ethical practice is more of a cultre than a set of rules. It is about the actions of a firm in respect of an individual’s behaviour rather than the precise behaviour of that individual. It should focus upon how the organisation deals with areas such as control framework to ensure any lapse against a code of ethics might occur and to ensure that this does not happen in the future.
Here are some articles about ethics and insurance that could be of interest to members. They’ve been written by supplier member Duncan Minty. If you’d like to read more such articles, or leave comments about the articles below, please visit his ‘Ethics and Insurance’ website at www.ethicsandinsurance.info