Incoming ABI chairwoman calls for innovation


The industry needs to continue modernising and pushing for innovative methods to provide better solutions to customers, the recently appointed chairwoman of the Association of British Insurers (ABI) has said.

Asked about the biggest challenges facing the life and pensions sector, Amanda Blanc said the trade body needed to continue to push for better outcomes for the industry and customers in the face of Brexit and upcoming regulatory changes.

She said: "We need to ensure we have the right outcomes for consumers, that we meet the transition deadlines and that we continue to push for financial services on the government's agenda as far as Brexit is concerned.

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"We need to ensure regulation is fit for purpose and that we are not over regulated or under regulated. The opportunities lie in modernisation, for example, in things like the pensions dashboard; digitally enhancing and ensuring everything is transparent to consumers so they can see where their assets and investments are."

Ms Blanc was recently appointed as the ABI's first female chairwoman, a role she will start in October. She has previously held the role of president of the Chartered Insurance Institute and has also sat on the ABI board.

The ABI, which a few years ago lost some members, has in recent years seen some rejoin the ranks.

Ms Blanc, who is set to join Zurich in Q4 as chief executive of its European, Middle-East and African operations, attributes this to the trade body's modernisation programme.

She said: "It is difficult to say why any member would choose to go. But why it is attracting members now; that is down to the fact it has modernised. It is leading the way on things like the pensions dashboard and retirement options. 

"[What I hope to oversee] is continuing to ensure the UK’s financial services long term savings and insurance industry, continues to evolve and modernise in the pretty complicated landscape we operate in, [and make sure] we are at the forefront of the changes rather than following the changes."

To hear more about Ms Blanc's views on the big challenges facing the industry, click here.