Amazon has launched its new supermarket where you log on to its app, wander round picking up the groceries you need (and probably forgetting the one thing you really needed necessitating a trip back about half an hour later), and then walk out – seemingly without paying.  What in fact is supposed to happen is that your meandering up and down the aisles is tracked by AI operated cameras which take note of the stuff you put in your basket, the app tots it up and it charges to your credit card.


Now, at LIIBA, we are always searching for ways to further the lot of our members – and in particular for ways that we can save you money.  And we are therefore pleased to be able to bring you the following advice.  Eager readers of these Chronicles will recall that we have delighted in evidence that artificial intelligence isn’t all that.  In particular a few weeks back we brought you the news that coverage of an Inverness Caledonian Thistle game on fans site iFollow had descended into farce when the AI operated camera became obsessed with the linesman’s bald head, thinking it was the ball.  We have adapted this approach to significantly cut down on your weekly shopping bills.  Here is how it works.


  1. Select the largest trolley available, preferably one of the ones with a separate small section at the front where you are supposed to put your bags.
  2. Select a large melon – preferably honeydew, although a cantaloupe can work especially if you are prone to bots of food poisoning.
  3. Place the melon in the front section of your trolley and your bag at the back of the trolley nearest you
  4. Fill your boots
  5. Walk out of the store and proceed home.  As the AI cameras will have obsessed over the melon thinking it is your head, they will have totally failed to pick up on any other activity, thus restricting your bill to just the cost of the melon.
  6. Repeat weekly, possibly occasionally substituting a large cauliflower.  After all, no one eats that much melon so you don’t want to raise suspicion.  And lord alone knows what it will do to the online adverts that get pushed your way.


No need to thank.  It is what we are here for.


Stream if you want to go faster


Tired of Bridgerton? Bored with The Queen’s Gambit? Forgotten your password for Amazon Prime?  Fear not because I am here to remind you of LIIBA’s very own streaming service available via our website.  There you will find recordings of every one of our webinars this year.  This includes some fantastic support and guidance on matters regulatory and insurance.  But we have also been really pleased with the popularity of our branching out to cover other subjects of interest that are not directly related to insurance.  The latest of these we held this week when Caroline Wagstaff and Adrian Beeby from Luther Pendragon gave an excellent presentation on how to communicate well without the need for a communications team.  We have had exceptional feedback on this session so I heartily recommend it to you.  My only objection being Adrian’s suggestion that you should not post pictures of your dogs on LinkedIn.  This would reduce my posting volume by about 90%.  Not going to happen.


Given the success of this wider programme (and we have a couple more sessions lined up as you will see below), if there are any non-insurance topics that you would like us to cover, do let us know?


Looking ahead, coming up and available for registration we have two excellent sessions.  Firstly, on Wednesday 17th March at 12pm,  Caroline Bedford will be telling you how to get staff involved in this year’s iteration of the very highly regarded Digital Minds programme.  You do have to pay for it (course not the seminar!) but feedback from those involved is outstanding.  Register here for that.


Then on 25th March at 12pm we have our virtual AGM – your chance to put questions to me and Chairman Richard Dudley on any aspect of LIIBA’s work.  Link to register here.


Monday 22nd March at 9am we have a session we are calling “Be on point online” from training company An Infinite Space.  They specialise in techniques to help you make an impact in videoconferences and online forums.  Given that these will be a big part of all our lives from now on, we thought it would be useful information to share.  So save the date for that and more details coming next week.


And finally, the big one, we have our new Facilities Forum.  We will be hosting our first forum dedicated to delegated authorities and other facility business on Monday 29th March at 10:15am.


The forum is aimed at anyone working with delegated authority business at a member firm.  You can register here.  The forum will provide brokers with a “one stop shop” of information covering the work undertaken by our Facilities Committee on behalf of the broking community.


Areas that will be discussed include:


  • Lloyd’s DA Programme and how LIIBA is engaging to represent broker and interests, including our pre-requisites to the proposed Conditions of Trade.
  • Lloyd’s Europe – what is happening?
  • Broker feedback from the recent Lloyd’s Audit conference.
  • Our engagement on the LMA’s Project DARE.
  • Various business as usual initiatives and areas of interest.


Mairead-ing between the lines


I attended a BIPAR roundtable this week with new European Commissioner for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets, Mairead McGuiness.  She recognised the expertise insurance intermediaries bring in helping their clients manage risk and in matching them to the right insurance products where required.  She also recognised that insurance will play a key role in her two main priorities – Capital Markets Union and the Green New Deal.  She pledged to address the problem of disclosure – accepting that prescribed documents can be way too long for clients to read – in the upcoming IDD review.  She professed to be a fan of fit-for-purpose, effective, proportionate regulation.  And she looked forward to a stable and balanced relationship with UK.


She also made it clear that she didn’t even want to go to Pontins on holiday.


So, a reasonably encouraging start which is good news for those of you with EU subsidiaries.  And it is good news for all of us as, despite UK’s withdrawal from EU, regulatory developments there are still going to impact our market.  It is also good to note that BIPAR is becoming an ever more respected and powerful lobbying group in Brussels.  Since there are no longer UK regulators around the EIOPA table, our membership of BIPAR is the only way we will have to influence policy development in EU.  Making it all the more important.  And, if they don’t do what we want, we will just take Isabelle BIPAR hostage until they do.


The Little Jack Corner


I thought I had done ok this week in maintaining a veneer of insurance over the other nonsense.  But oh no.  Not according to Ms Hobbs who insists on the following.


  • This week HMRC informed us that at the budget this week, the government confirmed that it would be implementing the OECD’s Mandatory Disclosure Rules (MDR – FDR’s brother). HMRC will be consulting on draft regulations later this year and anticipates that the rules will come into force next year. LIIBA’s Tax Working Party will be taking part in those consultations.
  • We have been liaising with Lloyd’s regarding bulletins not being sent through and received by members that after investigation was identified by Lloyd’s as a fault their end, which they are now rectifying. The situation was not helped by the new baffling new layout of Market Bulletins on the Lloyd’s website. We further identified a situation where bulletins issued were not appearing on the site. Again, the matter is being addressed by Lloyd’s now and we have requested that an option to display all bulletins is provided. Hopefully this will be actioned (she is really quite angry about all this, can you tell?).


Essential retail?


To the annals of idiocy we must add Clint Butler – a convicted armed robber who absconded from prison last November but was recaptured in Birmingham after he broke cover to purchase the latest version of Call of Duty.  So many questions raised.  For instance:


  • Has he not heard of the internet?
  • Why couldn’t his “friend” buy it for him?
  • Are video game shops actually open at the moment?
  • Were Mr and Mrs Butler Snr local Blues fans who named their son after Clinton Morrison? Displaced Fulham fans (Dempsey)? Or just plain, standard spaghetti western fanatics (seriously?)?
  • If a policeman asks you your name and you kick him in the groin, isn’t that a bit of a giveaway? Why not make one up? which is what Clint did later, arguably after the horse had bolted.


The standards of criminals these days, I don’t know.



That is it.  I leave you with this thought.  Carrie and Boris have enjoyed £12,500 worth of deliveries during lockdown from trendy organic farm shop Daylesford owned by Tory grandee Lord Bamford (not Patrick) for which it appears they may not have paid.  Carrie is planning a £200,000 refurbishment of the flat above number 11 Downing St in which she and Boris live, which Boris is trying to get funded by Tory party donors through some charity arrangement.  Nurses are getting a 1% pay rise.  Populist politicians eh? Always in tune with the average voter.