In response to the Trowbridge report, Suncorp Life chief executive Geoff Summerhayes has conceded insurance product manufacturers are to blame for the industry’s current remuneration structures.
Speaking at the FSC Life Insurance Conference – following the release of LIAWG independent chairman John Trowbridge’s recommendations in his final report – Mr Summerhayes said insurance manufacturers need to fix the remuneration problems they have created.
“There are absolutely differences of opinion, but the manufacturers have created this situation in terms of our remuneration structures and I think the manufacturers absolutely accept that it is also our position to solve that,” Mr Summerhayes said.
“That is having consequences right down the value chain, but the payments are made out of manufacturers and it is up to the manufacturers to face into that and [remove] that misalignment."
Also speaking at the conference, ANZ Global Wealth managing director of insurance Alexis George said Mr Trowbridge’s report was a “watershed” for the industry.
“We have a stake in the ground right now, and I think as an industry we need to be responsible and move forward,” Ms George said.
“Certainly we have to consider implications. We have to consider the economics for the industry as a whole, for our advisers, for our customers and for the insurance manufacturers … and understand the implications of certain decisions.
“We have an expectation not just from the regulator, not just from the government but from customers that we are going to move forward and I think [we should] embrace that challenge,” she said.
Ms George said that, like others within the industry, she has different views of the recommendations in Mr Trowbridge’s report but highlighted they should be considered and “properly debated”.
“[We need to] start from where we are now and I think that is a challenge that has been put out to all the leaders in our industry… it is hard but we have a responsibility to our customers to move forward,” she said.
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