August 2015

Talk Around the Bazaar

Worldwide Broker Network, WBN, has added another top-class intermediary to its armoury of well-reputed brokerage firms with the addition of Ark Insurance Brokers in Nigeria. Most continents are well served by networks of independent brokers and Africa has been lagging behind. Business Insurance reports the news at http://www.businessinsurance.com/article/20150724/NEWS06/150729879

China has set up a national compensation fund for oil spills caused by ships. Shippers and ship-owners would contribute to the fund. The new fund is likely to reach US$50 million capacity. Whilst ship-owners are obliged to take out liability insurance, the level of limits and adequacy of water-tight wordings makes this good news – although US$50 million for a large incident is not much. The Maritime Executive discusses this development at http://www.maritime-executive.com/article/china-sets-up-oil-spill-fund

Following the decision by the Greek Prime Minister to accept bailout terms from the country’s creditors, there have been changes to Insurance Premium Tax.  No-one knows what the financial ramifications are nor, actually, how much it is going to cost them. An example of clarity and concise verbage has been the announcement in the UK that IPT will rise from 6% to 9.5% – take a look at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/insurance-premium-tax-increase-to-standard-rate/insurance-premium-tax-increase-to-standard-rate send constructive comments to the Greek prime minister at internationalmediaoffice@primeminister.gr

Thinking of emigrating to Australia? There can’t be too many better places and in the insurance industry “being in the know is key.” iNavigator is a good barometer of the pressures, the tensions, the solutions and the moves in the market as readers can see at http://www.inavigator.com.au/ftproot/common/The%20iNav%20Team/Australia%20-%20iNavigator%20Quarterly%20Reviews/iNavigator%20Australia%20Quarterly%20Review%20-%20July%202015.pdf

In July it was announced that Hong Kong lawmakers have passed the Insurance Companies (Amendment) Bill 2014 which, among other things, will lead to the establishment of the Independent Insurance Authority (IIA) next year. There had been concerns about the power of such an institution and Business Insurance provides a link to Asia Review’s comments at http://www.businessinsurance.com/article/20150713/NEWS09/150719967

As many of our readers are aware, the International Maritime Bureau in London (https://icc-ccs.org/icc/imb) is a division of the International Chamber of Commerce and has been endorsed by the International Maritime Organisation, part of the UN. The IMB’s responsibilities lie in fighting crimes related to maritime trade and transportation, particularly piracy and commercial fraud, and in protecting the crews of ocean-going vessels. It publishes a weekly piracy report and maintains a 24-hour piracy reporting centre in Kuala Lumpur. Although there has been good progress tackling piracy in both East and West Africa, with global attacks declining for the fourth year in a row last year, it continues to thrive elsewhere. The IMB quarterly and annual reports are free and this information as well as much more can be accessed from their helpful website at https://icc-ccs.org/piracy-reporting-centre

Whilst there is still no consensus as to the definition of man-made risks, the accumulation of these risks which “relate to human behaviour and impact decision-making”, can lead to catastrophic consequences, according to a speaker at the 13th Conference on Catastrophic Insurance in Asia held in Ho Chi Minh City in July. Strategic Risk issued an authoritative report on international risks in Asia and this is available at http://edition.pagesuite-professional.co.uk//launch.aspx?eid=43844cd6-cc93-46a5-ae32-b40259610be3

With what could only be described politely as a lack of internal communication, ten of the 28 members of the European Commission recently included Guernsey on a European tax blacklist. The list features 30 non-EU jurisdictions it has branded “non co-operative” and includes six British overseas territories and one UK Crown Dependency – Guernsey. Understandably, this has led to questions as to (a) do the members of the EC know what they are talking about and (b) why did a minority of members get away with finessing such a decision? Seeing as Guernsey had actually been told by the EC that it meets the European Commission’s own standards, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) – the leading international standards-setter for tax transparency and cooperation – is hardly sticking its neck out by underlining Guernsey’s reputation as a cooperative jurisdiction. Guernsey Finance has further comment at http://www.guernseyfinance.com/press-room/news/2015/07/oecd-backs-guernsey-as-a-cooperative-jurisdiction/

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Some Animal Cries

  • Eagles……..scream
  • Elk………….bugle
  • Falcons……chant