The top three challenges facing London market companies are a soft market, Brexit and regulatory compliance, according to a survey of International Underwriting Association members.
In an online questionnaire, members also cited the IT and cyber revolution, the challenge of innovating new products and the recent change in the UK discount rate as key business issues.
Around 150 professionals working across the IUA’s 48 member companies answered the survey, conducted to assess the relevance of strategic priorities and obtain feedback on services provided. Representing member views to government and regulators was ranked as the association’s most important service, followed by the provision of market intelligence and supporting modernisation of business process technology.
Survey respondents were also asked their views on Brexit priorities for the London Market. Mutual market access, that is, enabling businesses in the UK and the remaining 27 EU states to trade freely, was the most important objective. This was followed closely by the early agreement of a BrexIT implementation period and the signing of new trade agreements between the UK and other countries.
Cyber and AI important emerging risks
Mr Dave Matcham, Chief Executive of the IUA, said: “The results from our member survey clearly illustrate the business priorities of the London company market. I am pleased that our services are well regarded and our strategic objectives align closely with member concerns.
“Since our last survey in 2014, both overall satisfaction levels and the importance of the IUA to members’ business operations have increased. Our questionnaire also showed 96% of respondents stating that IUA membership is good value.
“The results have given us new areas of potential focus as members outlined the most important emerging risks for insurance coverage. Cyber and artificial intelligence, as expected, were prominent, but many other issues were also listed, for example climate change, e-cigarettes and 3D printing. Perhaps the most pertinent answer to this question was from the respondent who simply stated, ‘so many’.”
In another section of the IUA survey, members were asked to rank the importance of different legal and regulatory topics. The top two priorities were unchanged from 2014: international sanctions and regulation by the Prudential Regulation Authority/Financial Conduct Authority. However, the third most important issue is now data protection, having not been mentioned at all three years ago.
Respondents were also asked to rank the importance of seven projects aimed at improving business processing in the London company market. Structured data capture was identified as the top priority, finishing ahead of electronic placing and enhancements to electronic claims files. A