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FullCircl + Acturis + BIBA Connecting the insights brokers need when it matters most

On 31st January we held an elite gathering of some the UK’s most influential insurance broking leaders. The setting for this auspicious event was the iconic NED, one of London’s most exclusive members clubs.

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Current Affairs

FullCircl responds to the launch of the BIBA Manifesto

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Ashleigh Gwilliam

FullCircl responds to the launch of the BIBA Manifesto

On January 10th, BIBA launched their 2024 Manifesto at the Houses of Parliament. FullCircl's newly promoted Director of Insurance Industry Growth, Ashleigh Gwilliam, shares his thoughts on what this means for the industry.

In this article:

  • Post-Covid-19 turbulence, inflation, Brexit uncertainties, and changes to consumer behaviour pose challenges for the UK economy.
  • BIBA has launched its 2024 Manifesto, highlighting the necessity for businesses to take risks for growth and economic recovery.
  • 45% of SMEs experienced increased insurance premiums, leading to reduced coverage, providing a unique opportunity for Brokers to advise on optimal coverage within budget constraints.
  • AON's recent survey identifies cash flow and liquidity as new top risks for UK organisations, reflecting the current economic situation.
  • BIBA calls for its members to "embrace technology" to "deliver excellent service".
  • Graeme Trudgill, BIBA Chief Executive to address senior figures at industry lunch hosted by FullCircl.

Turbulence in the UK Economy

Recent years have been turbulent to the UK economy. Following the Covid-19 Pandemic, we experienced high levels of inflation, uncertainties related to Brexit, supply chain disruptions, and shifts in consumer behaviour.

For the UK economy to fully recover, businesses need to take risks. Without risk, there is no growth. Insurance allows businesses to take risks, aligning with FullCircl's mission of helping businesses to better business faster, which is why I really welcome the 2024 BIBA Manifesto "Managing Risk for Growth and Economic Security".

The Crucial Role of Brokers in SME Insurance Amid Rising Premiums

The Manifesto references a survey by Premium Credit from October 2023 which uncovered that 45% of SMEs’ Insurance Premiums have increased, resulting in them reducing cover to reduce cost. This is an unfortunate fact but highlights the value brokers can add. When funds are limited, it is more important businesses receive a return on their investment; businesses are not insurance professionals, so taking the advice of a broker is essential to ensure you have the best cover possible within your budget. I commend BIBA for the steps they have taken in partnership with the ABI with their Signposting Agreement and access to the insurance committee to help drive individuals and businesses to organisations that can help them – particularly those in vulnerable positions. But, reflecting on the comments from my good friend Angela Irvine at Bletchley Group, it is important for brokers to demonstrate the value they are adding to the client journey, as it helps improve the industry’s overall reputation.

AON’s October 2023 Executive Risk Survey, also mentioned in the Manifesto, uncovered the Top 10 Risks facing UK Organisations, including a new addition to the list - Cash Flow and Liquidity, indicative of the current UK Economy. It is an issue many of our clients have discussed with us; feedback that contributed to our decision to launch our new SmartBroker service.  

FullCircl SmartBroker provides you with all the information you need to acquire new business & retain existing clients, prepare better underwriting submissions, and assist with compliance, aligned to the new consumer duty requirements; including key financial risk and liquidity information from Experian-powered credit data, adverse director history and CCJs – all designed to help brokers understand the financial situation at their clients. 2023 was also the year we announced our New BIBA Facility, allowing BIBA members access to our FullCircl SmartBroker service, with a 25% discount.

Navigating the Future: Initiatives for Tax Reform, Social Responsibility, and Climate Resilience

I commend the calls to reduce Insurance Premium Tax, ideally, I would like to see a complete removal of IPT on mandatory classes of insurance, for example employers’ liability, which would help fuel employment and economic growth. However, I understand this would be an impossible ask, as the tax revenue from personal motor insurance would be hard to replace.

I am also encouraged by the determination of BIBA, the ABI and DLUHC, to find resolution to the issues highlighted by the horrible tragedy at Grenfell tower. The Insurance industry’s primary concern should be to provide protection – particularly to those who need it most. This continues to be highlighted in BIBA’s Manifesto, with calls for improvement to categorising Cyber losses, dealing with new methods of construction, data sharing protocols regarding self-driving vehicles and personal property terrorism cover.

Is More Leniency Needed Towards Directors in Business?

Clarity surrounding Previous Insolvencies and County Court Judgments is long overdue. At FullCircl, we surface adverse director history and legal notices to our clients regarding the companies they are transacting with. A lack of a time-limit makes it difficult for brokers to provide advice to companies. Motor and Criminal convictions both have statute of limitations, why not insolvency? As a nation we except that people make mistakes, and certain crimes can be deemed ‘spent’, why are we stricter on directors taking chances in business?

Lessons from the Banking Sector

The Financial services and Markets act gives the FCA a secondary objective to fuel "growth and competitiveness" from the Financial services sector in the UK, yet the UK continues to have the second highest financial burden caused by regulation when compared to other leading jurisdictions.

BIBA calls for its members to “embrace technology” to “deliver excellent service”, calling out the value e-trade, claims management systems and improvements AI can bring through timesaving. While I commend this response, I would like to see further encouragement on the use of Data and Information. Lessons can be learned from the Banking Sector, who utilise the data to reduce manual effort and human error during the application stage. This tried and tested process can easily be replicated for the Insurance Industry. At FullCircl, we have assisted numerous multi-national banks by prepopulating business banking application forms, in one circumstance reducing the number of required answers from 80 down to just three. Not only does this improve the customer experience during the application process, but the increased accuracy could also minimise potential issues at point of claim; ensuring the right protection is in place when clients need it most.

Embracing Technology to Delivery Excellence in Insurance

This is why I am proud of our new partnership with Acturis. At the click of a button, brokers can enrich client files with data from over40 different sources, significantly reducing the time spent manually completing forms and removing potential for human error.

There is a plethora of data available to modern insurance brokers, the real key is finding the information that provides valuable insights, this is where our market leading Screening functionality can be so valuable. In seconds, FullCircl analyses all the information available, highlighting the key ‘golden nuggets’ that enable brokers to do better business, faster. This may include Adverse Director History, CCJs and PEPS & Sanctions, but also insights derived from company financials that identify a company’s demands and needs. It also assists with consumer duty requirements – for example, an increase in Export Turnover prompts a conversation regarding Marine Cover, Trade Credit requirements, and changes in PL & EL exposure, allowing you to deliver positive outcomes that protect clients from financial harm.

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On January 31st, FullCircl, in partnership with BIBA and Acturis, are hosting an exclusive lunch for senior executives across the insurance industry. If you would like to learn more about our new SmartBroker service and Acturis integration, or hear more from BIBA CEO, Graeme Trudgill, regarding BIBA’s 2024 Manifesto, you can register your interest by emailing Robert Taylor.

Remaining spaces are limited and strictly limited to senior executives; therefore, unfortunately not all applicants will be accepted.

Identity Verification

“Smart eGate” Trial Imminent: Is this the beginning of the end for passports?

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Ben Lachenal

In this article:

  • UK planning 'Smart eGates' at airports, relying on facial recognition, eliminating the need for physical passports. Trials set for this year.
  • New eGates access biometric data remotely, making physical passports redundant.
  • Dubai Airport's 'Seamless Travel' and global trends align with the UK's move towards facial recognition in identity verification.
  • The UK experienced increased acceptance of remote identity verification, driven in part thanks to COVID-19. Over 60% of consumers are willing to use facial recognition for verification.

The Dawn of "Smart eGates": Revolutionizing Border Control

According to a story recently published by The Times, the UK will take its first step towards creating a truly “Intelligent Border” with the adoption of AI-driven ‘Smart eGates’ at airports.

Set to be trialled as early as this year, the units will negate the requirement for travellers entering the UK to present a physical passport, instead relying solely on Facial Recognition technology to confirm those crossing the border are who they say they are.

Global Trends: Biometrics Transforming Travel

The use of this technology is of course not entirely radical. Current airport eGates already take advantage of your biometrics, only they access them by decrypting the chip embedded within your passport before comparing the obtained data with a live image of you when you peer into the camera.

The newer, or should I say “Smarter” eGates, will instead access your biometric data remotely via a centralised database, rendering the physical passport surplus to requirements.

The UK isn’t alone. As well as in some Australian airports, Dubai International Airport will soon roll out ‘Seamless Travel’ for its residents, leaning on the reliability of Biometrics to enable residents to breeze through the tiresome immigration process “in as little as five seconds”.

Facial Recognition in the UK: From Everyday Life to Airports

Although the UK will not likely extend its use of Face Rec to the degree Dubai and other Middle Eastern countries intend to just yet, (soon you’ll be able to buy your duty-free using only your face!), this change in how we travel is really just an extension of how Identity Verification (IDV) using biometrics is already being embraced and trusted by UK citizens.

Facial Recognition – that is, the unique measurements between various points on your face – has been in use in the UK in various forms for a number of years already, and not just by the police. In fact, UK providers of IDV are some of the world’s leaders in this field.

Embracing Change: UK Consumer Attitudes and Industry Shifts

The Covid-19 pandemic illustrated how far UK providers of IDV tech had come along in recent years, with many of us using their technology to seamlessly confirm our identities remotely using Facial Recognition and biometrics when thrust into lengthy lockdowns. Even when stuck at home for months on end, not much was out of reach for UK consumers.

It’s no surprise then that the news of passport-less eGates will likely be seen positively across the country. Research suggests that as a nation, we’re embracing this exciting tech faster than any other: According to biometricupdate.com, over 60% of UK consumers have expressed a willingness to be verified in this way, and that’s growing significantly.

Closer to home at FullCircl, we’re also seeing the shift. We’ve witnessed first-hand many of our clients, including banks and major insurance providers, modernise and fortify their approach to onboarding by adopting document verification and facial recognition checks when dealing with customers remotely. You can read more about how we help businesses onboard customers here

It’s clear to see that as a nation, we’re already embracing Facial Recognition in our everyday lives, and we’re already enjoying the benefits it can bring. I believe extending this to the airport is a natural step, and one I believe the UK will not only welcome, but raise the standards in.

Current Affairs

Did you catch Andrew Yates’s Interview on Insurance Hound?

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Ashleigh Gwilliam

Did you catch Andrew Yates’s Interview on Insurance Hound?

On 6th December 2023 our CEO Andrew Yates was interviewed by InfoPro Digital’s Insurance Content Director Jonathan Swift. Together they took a deep dive look at our recent SmartBroker Acturis Integration, including:

  • How FullCircl is helping brokers tackle their biggest challenges -  from data capture and quality, to underinsurance, compliance and regulation
  • The SmartBroker development journey and it’s integration into Acturis
  • Our exclusive Acturis-ready SmartBroker facility for BIBA members
  • What the insurance industry can expect from FullCircl in 2024 - including new data interrogation capabilities, identity verification, and a unified monitoring tool.

You can view the full interview here.

The smart approach to driving even greater value from Acturis

SmartBroker provides next generation data enrichment to Acturis users, proven to drive growth, improve decisioning, and enhance compliance. By integrating FullCircl SmartBroker into the Acturis platform brokers and insurers can:

  • Efficiently identify and win new customers
  • Save time and pre-populate forms in Acturis with validated data
  • Run screening and onboarding checks
  • Enrich customer data to save time and improve underwriting submissions
  • Improve in-life monitoring for personalised experiences, elevated renewal rates, and expanded upsell opportunities
  • Improve customer outcomes and comply with the Consumer Duty

Want to see it in action?

Product Updates

A new look for our platform and customisable company reports

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Shazia Anthony

A new look for our platform and customisable company reports

We’re thrilled to bring you another product update. This time, it’s all about a new, fresh design and the ability to customise and download company and credit reports.

A fresh new look

When you first log in to your account, you’ll immediately notice a change. Our new design is more than just a visual upgrade; we’ve also improved the navigation to ensure you can find what you need quickly and efficiently.

Custom company and credit reports

In our latest release, we’ve revamped our approach to company reports. We’ve improved the design and format to make them more visually appealing and easily downloadable. What’s more, we’ve expanded the scope of our reports, allowing you to include more of the information we hold on companies, to provide a more comprehensive view. That’s not all; you can now select the content you want to include to tailor your reports to your specific requirements and get the insights that matter the most.

Ready to explore these features?

Simply log in to your account, and you’ll find the updated design. To create custom reports, click the new download report button on the company profile page and customise your report.

Coming soon: Find Companies with enhanced UI and powerful new search capabilities.

We’re improving our prospecting tool to help you save time and uncover opportunities like never before. By streamlining search and expanding options to filter, the new search interface helps customers identify companies that fit their specific criteria in less time and with greater flexibility.

New features will include

  • Advanced search filters
  • AdditionalBoolean criteria
  • Customised results table
  • Team collaboration
  • Intuitive new design

Stay tuned for further updates on Find Companies as we continue to refine and enhance your experience.

W2 by FullCircl

You may have seen that in August 2023, FullCircl announced the acquisition of identity verification platform provider, W2. We’re really excited about this next phase of growth for FullCircl and W2.

Next, let’s take a look at what’s new in the W2 platform.

Monitoring updates

Within the latest round of enhancements, some significant UI changes have been made to W2’s AML re-screening functionality. The new additions are designed to make the analysis of monitoring performance more efficient, providing a new level of depth.

Upon entry to the monitoring dashboard within W2’s portal, the new functionality allows customers to instantly see a snapshot of their monitoring performance and identify any open alerts which require remediation.

We’ve also made improvements to both the alerts and records aspect of monitoring. Alerts and records are now much easier to consume, and we’ve also added numerous filtering options to ensure you can find exactly what you’re looking for.

Coming soon: W2 white labelling

We’re currently working on anew proposition to market. W2’s white label will give clients the ability tore-brand the W2 portal and obtain their own environment, including URL, for W2’s products.

The white label allows clients to access a custom branded identity verification platform without having to invest in developing their own version.

It ensures customer compliance, avoids the complexity of dealing with multiple supplier contracts and integrations, opens additional revenue opportunities, expands their proposition, includes full training, and provides access to a support team.

To explore our latest release, or learn more about our services, schedule a demo to see how these new features will empower your business through comprehensive data and actionable insights.

Current Affairs

Regulation Update: The Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act Receives Royal Assent

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Justin Fitzpatrick

Regulation Update:  The Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act Receives Royal Assent

The Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act 2023 (ECCTA) came into force on 26th October 2023, after the Bill of the same name received royal assent.  

The ECCTA strengthens the UK’s efforts to combat economic crime via a wide-ranging suite of reforms.  These include new and enhanced powers for Companies House to scrutinise information provided by companies and their directors.  In addition, there are new offences for failure to provide information or make false statements, as well as new routes for the Serious Fraud Office and National Crime Agency to attribute corporate liability through the introduction of a failure to prevent fraud offence.

Let’s focus on Companies House…

Companies House Reform

Companies House has undergone the biggest shake up in its 180-year history, turning it from a largely passive recipient of company information to a much more active gatekeeper.  It now has enhanced abilities to verify the identities of company directors, remove fraudulent organisations from the register, and share information with criminal investigation agencies.  

More specifically, the reforms include:

  • Identity verification of all new and existing registered company directors, People with Significant Control, and those delivering documents to the Registrar.
  • A requirement that those forming or running companies supply additional information in relation to material they file with Companies House.
  • The ability for the registrar to and query and/or reject information already on the register identified as potentially fraudulent, suspicious or might otherwise impact on the integrity of the register or wider business environment.
  • Proactive sharing of all information held by Companies House about any entity with law enforcement, regulatory bodies, and other public authorities either to assist in carrying out its own functions or to assist a public authority with the exercise of its functions.
  • Discretionary powers to remove material from the register, change the address of a company’s registered office, and take action against those persistently failing to provide an appropriate registered office address.

What happens next?

The provisions of the ECCTA will come into force under a phased approach to allow companies, and Companies House itself, time to prepare for implementation.  

However, Companies House has noted that, whilst some of the measures in the ECCTA will need processes to be developed and secondary legislation before they can be brought into force, other measures can, and will, be brought into force sooner.  

In early 2024 we can expect early-implementation measures to come into force including the power to query or reject information filed with Companies House, revisions to the company names regime, and the requirement for companies to provide the registrar with an email address.

What does this mean for FullCircl customers?

We are excited about the ECCTA, and specifically the reform of Companies House, and the impact it will have in terms of greater transparency, accuracy, and reliability of data.  After all, the more reliable the data, the more valuable our tools, applications and business logic become – helping our customers identify & acquire customers, verify and onboard them quickly, and retain and grow relationships for the long-term.

Customer Lifecycle Intelligence is not static data - we deliver a multi-dimensional view that combines advanced data ingestion, validation, data matching, and augmentation with real-time sanction, PEPs, adverse media screening and more.  All neatly delivered via web app or API.  

Whether it’s automated data collection and critical checks, ensuring compliance, confidently targeting the right customers, or growing advocacy through frictionless onboarding and support, FullCircl’s SmartBanker solution is helping the UK’s leading banks and financial service providers to:

  • Minimise the time spent gathering management information
  • Identify the business customers that fit their organisation's risk appetite
  • Enhance the ability to proactively engage with customers.

If you have questions about the potential impact of the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act and how to stay ahead of implementation, or if you would like to experience SmartBanker’s capabilities get in touch with a member of our team today.  

SME Economy

What does the future of SME banking really look like?

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Lucy Huntley

What does the future of SME banking really look like?

It’s been a tough few years for SMEs. The cost-of-living crisis and threat of recession followed hot on the heels of the Covid pandemic pushing many SMEs into recovery mode, with many more at real threat of going under.

The Covid loan scheme offered some respite and the opportunity to access finance more quickly. But in 2023 with repayment of these loans looming, and a wider backdrop of rising costs, high inflation, rising interest rates and supply chain disruption, the pressure on SMEs has only intensified. No wonder they are declining at a rate of 6.5%.

Access to finance is a major problem for SMEs. In fact, the sector currently has unmet finance needs of approximately $5.2 trillion, 1.5 times the current lending market. Alongside the rising cost of debt, there is a growing concern that bank lending criteria is preventing SMEs from accessing the finance they need. Nearly one in three SMEs recently identified working capital and cash flow management as a reason for requiring external finance, but only 45% of respondents felt confident they would be able to secure that finance from their bank.

If banks fail to respond, the consequences are potentially catastrophic. After all, SMEs account for 99.9% of the business population, and around half the turnover of the UK private sector.

An opportunity as yet unrealised

Unmet needs are opportunities for new value creation. But, has digital transformation in SME banking progressed enough to ensure this sector (and the opportunity it represents) survives and thrives?

Unfortunately, the answer is no.

Lack of insight is a huge stumbling block.

The volume and variability of SME businesses makes it difficult to create banking services that meet diverse needs and deliver personalisation at scale.

A new way forward

A new KYC approach is required, one that is rooted in fast, comprehensive, and real time Customer Lifecycle Intelligence. In our latest whitepaper we investigate what this new approach really looks like in practice.

Download your copy now and learn:

  • The market trends impacting SME banking
  • What SMEs want from financial service providers
  • What the modern SME banking ecosystem looks like
  • The path forward
Anti-Money Laundering (AML)
Anti-Money Laundering (AML)
Identity Verification
Identity Verification
Product Updates
Product Updates
Sales Intelligence
Sales Intelligence
SME Economy
SME Economy
Risk Management
Risk Management
KYC / KYB
KYC / KYB
Digital Transformation
Digital Transformation
Customer Lifecycle Intelligence
Customer Lifecycle Intelligence
Customer Experience
Customer Experience
Customer Due Diligence
Customer Due Diligence
Current Affairs
Current Affairs
Client Onboarding
Client Onboarding
Business Automation
Business Automation
Corporates
Corporates
Payments
Payments
Gambling
Gambling
Financial Services
Financial Services
B2B Corp
B2B Corp
FinTech
FinTech
Insurance
Insurance
Banking
Banking