Starting and running a brokerage business sometimes feels like a painful quest dictated by never-ending anagrams. DDA standards and training, GDPR processes implementation, AML-CFT checks, Solvency II capital obligations, and so on.
Offering insurance to your customers has never been so complicated. And the ACPR (French insurance regulatory body) is well aware of that.
Hence the Brokerage Reform. In addition to structuring the French brokerage space, the reform has one key objective: to provide better support and council to brokerage professionals.
April 8th, 2021, Law n° 2021-402 sees the light in an effort to reform brokerage practice.
In short, what does the law entail? Who does it apply to?
The Brokerage Reform will make membership of a professional association compulsory, as of the 1st of April 2022.
This will apply to all brokers and all Insurance Intermediaries' Agents (“Mandataires d’Intermédiaires d’Assurance” in French), whether insurance is your main or secondary business.
What will associations do, concretely?
The associations can be seen as compliance coaches. Their mission will be to assist and support brokerage entities in complying with the standards and regulations in force.
More specifically, they will have to :
- Verify that all compulsory criteria and prerequisites are met: members will have to provide the association with all the supporting documents each year. These documents include: the 3rd form of the representatives’ criminal record, the company's Civil Liability certificate and the compulsory Financial Guarantee if relevant.
- Ensure that all professional capacity and training obligations are respected: The list of personnel (including employees’ roles) and all training certificates will have to be submitted to the association. It will ensure that all training is relevant to the type of insurance distributed and their distribution channel. They will also publish a "Guide to Professional Capacity and Continuing Professional Development". In the event of non-compliance, the associations will be required to issue recommendations to guide professionals towards compliance.
- Handle all mediation cases between brokers and their clients in the event of disputes: This function will be centralised in a single mechanism and will apply to all types of activities, whether it be insurance brokerage, financial investment advice or bank intermediation.
What happens if I do not register?
There are two possible scenarios:
- You are already registered with ORIAS: You will have until the 2023 renewal of your registration to join the association of your choice. If you do not join by this date, you will be struck off the ORIAS register.
- If you start your brokerage activity after April 1st of 2022: Membership of an association will be a prerequisite for the issue of your ORIAS registration.
Understood, but how do you register?
You will have to choose a single association approved by the ACPR and pay a membership fee.
Access the list of associations here.
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