In his first article as CII president, Nick Turner outlines his vision for the year ahead
It was a tremendous privilege to be elected as the 109th president of the CII in June, especially after having served as Personal Finance Society (PFS) president between 2016 and 2017. The list of CII past presidents is long and distinguished, and as I received the President's Jewel during the ceremonial transfer of office, it was a chance to reflect on the accomplishments of the Institute.
I take over from Jonathan Clark, whose presidential theme was to 'develop a united profession'. During my predecessor's presidential year, we saw the launch of the Society of Insurance Broking, the Society of Claims Professionals and soon, the Society of Underwriting Professionals. I am looking forward to building on the outstanding work undertaken by Mr Clark and the CII team, and with the help of the new societies, to make big progress on the mission of building public trust in the insurance profession.
STANDARDS. PROFESSIONALISM. TRUST.
Since the 2008 financial crisis, we have seen a number of moves by the regulator to build consumer trust in the financial services industry. The Financial Conduct Authority's business plan includes some excellent examples of how focus has been applied to building consumer trust, whether that is the Insurance Distribution Directive, fair treatment of customers or the review of fair general insurance pricing. While the regulator will continue to progress its business plan, there is still much we can do on an individual level. The strapline of the CII was a big influence in defining my own presidential theme. It reads to me as an equation -- Standards + Professionalism = Trust -- and is a reminder that it is not just related to the actions of insurance and personal finance companies, but also the actions of individuals who influence consumer trust.
The key individual behaviours that drive trust: benevolence, integrity, competence and predictability
During speeches to local institutes as deputy
CII president, I spoke of the key individual behaviours that drive trust: benevolence, integrity, competence
All of these 'pillars of trust' need to be taken seriously for trust to be built. How often do we challenge ourselves after an interaction with a customer on whether we met the pillars of trust test?
Many in our profession fully recognise that our key 'product' is often not a tangible item, it is a promise we make. Therefore, the importance of being trusted and trustworthy plays a huge part in whether consumers engage in products and services in the right way and to their maximum advantage. Many of the consumer challenges we face, where we as an industry have tripped up, are usually down to a breach of one or more of the four pillars of trust.
There is so much we do brilliantly across our professions and I am immensely proud of the positive difference we make to people's lives and businesses, however, there is still work to be done.
During my presidential year, I will seek to increase understanding and awareness of how individual actions build or destroy trust and impact the perception consumers have of the insurance industry. If everyone, every day, consciously prioritised building trust in every interaction with consumers-¦ then just imagine the difference we could make.
I see an exciting year ahead!
Nick Turner is president of the CII