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Designated Professional Body Scheme for General Insurance Mediation (UK)

Designated Professional Body Scheme for General Insurance Mediation (UK)

The RICS Designated Professional Body scheme is a UK regulatory programme approved by HM Treasury, the UK’s ministry of finance. It enables us to regulate our members for general insurance distribution activities in the UK, on behalf of the Financial Conduct Authority.

The DPB rules should be read in conjunction with the DPB guidance; the 2009 guidance is still relevant and applicable to the rules.

Applications 

If you wish to be licensed through the DPB scheme then you will need to first complete the online Firms Registration, and then DPB Registration. Both registrations are on our Firms Portal. 

Login to the Firms Portal

 

Licensing

Once your application has been submitted, a caseworker will review your response to the questions. When the application has been approved an invoice will be issued for the application fee. When this has been paid a licence will be issued to you. You cannot rely on the licence until the fees have been paid.

If you wish to join the DPB Scheme and are currently directly authorised by the FCA then you should not begin the FCA cancellation process.

Instead, please complete the online DPB application, which we will consider and, if successful, provide you with an 'in principle' decision that a DPB licence may be granted. You should then begin the cancellation process with the FCA and report to us immediately once this has been fully completed.

Please note that the 'in principle' decision will be kept under review and a licence issued subject to continuing eligibility.

What does this mean for your firm?

If your firm engages in or is planning to undertake general insurance mediation work then this information is important to you. This is likely to be the case if, for example, your firm helps clients to complete insurance documentation or offers clients insurance advice or services.

If you do general insurance mediation work you must be authorised by us, the FCA or be an appointed representative, your firm may be eligible for our DPB scheme.

To be eligible, any general insurance activities that the firm carries out must be incidental to the provision of surveying services to individual clients. 

Changes to DPB rules

There are a number of upcoming changes to the DPB rules and guidance that you should be aware of if your firm is part of the DPB scheme. Our new rules and guidance have been published and apply from 1 October 2018.

The changes to our rules were approved by the FCA and reflect new obligations and requirements under the Insurance Distribution Directive (IDD), which replaces the Insurance Mediation Directive (IMD).

The main changes relate to:

Increase in Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII) cover

The minimal PII cover for DPB Licensed firms is to be increased to €1.25M for single cases and €1.85M for the annual aggregate.

New Insurance Product Information Document (IPID) requirements

DPB Licensed firms will also be required to obtain and provide their clients with an IPID. An IPID is available from the insurance provider. The firm will be required to issue the IPID together with the Demands and Needs Statement to their clients before the placement of the insurance.

Professional training and development requirement

Whilst DPB Licensed firms are not required to fulfill the 15-hour CPD requirement due to their status of Ancillary Insurance Intermediaries, firms nevertheless need to ensure that relevant staff undertake professional training and development relating to the undertaking of insurance distribution activities.

Cross-selling requirement

The new DPB scheme rules also provide that when an insurance product is complementing another good or service which is not insurance, as part of a package or as part of the same agreement to the same Client, a DPB Licensed firm must inform the Client about the possibility of buying the different components separately.

Informing clients about commission received

While this is not a new requirement in the rules, it is imperative that firms continue to account to Clients for all fees, commission and other benefits obtained through general insurance distribution activity. The Client must be informed in writing about the amount of commission which must be remitted to the Client, and only if the Client gives its informed consent, in writing, allowing the firm to retain that amount of commission, can the firm keep the commission received. 

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