Clients are not protected by consumer choice.
Has someone at the SRA been reading Dr Seuss? As the regulator returns, once again, to the idea of lowering PII cover (news, p1), the book Green Eggs and Ham comes to mind. In it a character is repeatedly asked to try the dish until he caves in for a quiet life and to his surprise finds it fantastic.
Will the SRA be similarly vindicated? The first time lower cover was put on the table, the proposed timing would have destabilised the PII market. Moreover, the supporting evidence was thin. The profession can be forgiven for not trusting a process whereby the regulator has now found and attached evidence for the same position before rehashing the proposal for consultation.
The premise for reform remains weak. To attract new market entrants and strip out unnecessary costs, thus allowing prices to fall and encouraging new entrants, premiums would need to fall. Yet there is scant evidence they will. And what of the SRA’s remit to protect clients – a duty acknowledged in the consultation’s title?
Clients are protected by professional standards, regulation and insurance – not ‘consumer choice’, which in any case will not necessarily be enhanced by this change. The SRA will face a tough task to push this through at the second time of asking.