Principle 8 requires a firm to manage conflicts of interest fairly. SYSC 10 also requires an insurance intermediary to take all reasonable steps to identify conflicts of interest, and maintain and operate effective organisational and administrative arrangements to prevent conflicts of interest from constituting or giving rise to a material risk of damage to its clients. 1
If a firm acts for a customer in arranging a policy, it is likely to be the customer's agent (and that of any other policyholders). If the firm intends to be the insurance undertaking's agent in relation to claims, it needs to consider the risk of becoming unable to act without breaching its duty to either the insurance undertaking or the customer making the claim. It should also inform the customer of its intention.
A firm should in particular consider whether declining to act would be the most reasonable step where it is not possible to manage a conflict, for 1 example where the firm knows both that its customer will accept a low settlement to obtain a quick payment, and that the insurance undertaking is willing to settle for a higher amount.11