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Section 172 Statement

The following Section 172 Statement can be found in the Annual Report and Financial Statements for BPL (Holdings) Ltd for the year ended 31 March 2023. The full Annual Report and Financial Statements can be found at Companies House here.

Section 172 Statement

The Section 172(1) Statement requires directors to disclose how they have met their duties under Section 172 and which would most likely promote the success of the company for the benefit of its stakeholders. During the year the directors have had regard to the following matters when performing their duty under Section 172:

A) The likely consequence of any decisions in the long-term;
B) The interests of the wider Group’s employees;
C) The need to foster the Group’s business relationships with suppliers, customers and others;
D) The impact of the Group’s operations on the community and the environment;
E) The aim of the Group is to maintain a reputation for high standards of business conduct; and
F) The need to act fairly between members of the Group.

The directors of the Company maintain regular contact with both employees and shareholders. This allows directors to appreciate the context of current projects and to be on hand to assist and advise where necessary. The culture that the Company and wider Group strives for and the way that the Group works means that there is regular communication with its key stakeholders. Management drives the desired culture throughout the Group, this having been set by the Company’s directors who are additionally responsible for setting high standards of business conduct to ensure that the commitment to stakeholders is met. This is achieved by continuously delivering a quality service to clients, and by maintaining a culture of empowerment by putting the employees first, providing agility, and embracing the integrity of the employees and supporting their aspirations.

The Company’s long-term model reflects the determination to share successes and to grow in a responsible, sustainable way. This goes beyond environmental and societal impacts; it impacts the products the Company offers, the talent hired, and how the Company manages its future. The Company is determined to reduce its environmental impact as much as it possibly can – continuing to build a sustainable business while reducing, replacing, recycling, and commencing the process of becoming carbon neutral. The Company also wishes to support society and manages this through supporting fundraising and volunteering, a commitment to protect the environment and corporate donations to charitable causes overseen by the Company’s Charity Committee.

The board ensures that it addresses the S172 requirements by allocating responsibility for specific areas to senior management, conducting board and committee meetings with the use of clear agendas, discussion and review of appropriate board papers, budgeting and reforecasting, and strategy events. Decisions discussed and reached in board meetings are reported against agreed strategic objectives set annually.

Key stakeholders are identified during board and committee meetings and stakeholder engagement takes place in numerous forms; the board receives quarterly reports from senior management staff which include a full overview of the Company, including a strategic update, financial performance, business updates, regulatory and legal matters, risks, errors and omissions, client updates and team updates. Actions resulting from discussion of these reports are agreed and then shared with stakeholders as appropriate.

Our stakeholders


Why the Company engages

The Company advises on and intermediates large and complex insurance transactions. In doing so it is clear that policyholders and prospective policyholders are its clients. It acts exclusively and unambiguously for its clients as their agent, providing the highest levels of service and advice at all times and trying to obtain the best pricing and terms from insurers. In fulfilling its role to clients it also, like many transacting intermediaries, provides services to insurers. While the Company does not act for insurers or charge them for services, it is nevertheless aware of its obligations to treat insurers – as its clients’ counterparties – fairly and transparently.

Understanding clients’ needs and demands for credit and political risk insurance (“CPRI”), and tailoring the Company’s products and services accordingly, is vital to the Company’s long-term success as the leading specialist broker within CPRI.

How the Company engages

The Company has a number of broking teams within the subsidiary companies of the Group which take a very proactive and hands-on approach to engaging with clients, both through the handling of their day-to-day enquiries, policies and claims, and through providing them with broader market intelligence and data.

The digitalization of the CPRI market is also a key area of engagement with the Company’s clients to drive efficiencies in the insurance placement process and further enhance client service levels. The Company provides clients with access to BPL Sphere, its digital portfolio management solution, which gives clients full and immediate visibility across all their CPRI data, via a single portal. The Company is also working with insurers to support efforts to digitalise the full insurance placement cycle via third party digital platforms.

The Company’s board closely monitors client servicing levels, business development activities, product development and other commercial initiatives in order to support sustainable growth over the long term.


Why the Company engages

Empowerment of staff by putting them first is ultimately beneficial to clients too. Collaboration of employees’ knowledge and skills has a motivating effect on others and ensures the ongoing success of the Company by ensuring its clients are offered the most suitable solutions to their needs.

How the Company engages

The Company’s board engages with employees through regular update meetings, akin to an AGM but for staff only, as well as through an internal website and direct electronic correspondence. It strives to support employees’ ambitions by encouraging the completion of professional qualification exams, providing both financial support and time off to enable the completion of exams, and also awards generous exam completion bonuses. Recruiting the right people is vital to the continued success of the wider Group. The Company strives to ensure that its recruitment process is free from bias and discrimination and the result of this is an approach which has resulted in it being able to attract and retain staff of the highest quality.

In August 2022, a complete review was undertaken of our people policies and a revised Employee Handbook was issued, reaffirming our commitment to equal opportunities. The policies were developed with a mindfulness on how BPL support, encourage and instil inclusive behaviours, policies and practices which are supportive of individual needs.  In addition, in September 2022 the Company worked together with the Diversity & Inclusion (“D&I”) Steering Group to develop and implement the first annual Employee Engagement Survey, which resulted in an 83% participation.  As a result of the survey and employee feedback a number of commitments were made to review benefits, training and procedures that are important to the Employees.  Work is currently underway for our 2023 Employee Engagement Survey.

Through the pandemic, staff were encouraged to work from home and were supported in this way by facilitating the acquisition of the necessary home-working equipment to ensure their roles could be performed as seamlessly as possible. Video-conferencing software was made available to all staff to ensure that easy and regular contact could be maintained with their peers and reporting lines. Given the success of home-working across the Group, subsequent to the easing of lockdown restrictions, in September 2022, we reviewed and established changes to our working practices to adopt a hybrid working model and core hours. The aim has been to create a sense of balance between the home and office, and we have seen an increase in the sense of wellbeing amongst our employees as a result. Their mental and physical wellbeing has improved and their ability to manage the demands of work and home, easier to achieve. This sense of wellbeing is known to be a key component of inclusivity and fostering a culture of trust and acceptance.

Facilitating this, the Group’s HR platform allows staff to book their time off more easily, be that for holidays, study and medical leave, as well as booking office-working time. The platform also gives staff access to details of the various insurances and other benefits that the Group has provided for them free of charge and how to access these, and also acts as a portal to enable management to quickly communicate Group news and developments to all staff and issue feedback on surveys.

In November 2021, the board of the Company’s parent approved the creation of the D&I Steering Group, which reports to this board via the Operations Committee, and to our Finance, Risk, Audit and Compliance Committee (FRACC) via the identification of D&I and culture risks on our Risk Register. All Groups, Committees and Boards meet on a quarterly basis to approve recommendations made by each and to ensure oversight.

We had an overwhelming response from our call for volunteers to the D&I Steering Committee with all of employees requesting to be included. This again evidences our culture and work continues to strengthen this further.

Our D&I Steering Committee is representative of all levels of hierarchy in the business from trainees, brokers, operational specialists and board directors. We have achieved a diverse group who represent different genders, ages, ethnicities, the LGBTQ+ community and the neurodiverse. This has created an enthusiasm and energy to achieve meaningful progress.


Why the Company engages

Long-term, robust working relationships with suppliers provides stability to the Company’s operations.

How the Company engages

Thorough due diligence is conducted on all prospective suppliers to ensure that the service they claim to be able to provide is the reality for the Company. Comparisons to alternate suppliers are made to ensure that those ultimately chosen provide the best blend of value and customer service to the Company. Significant capital expenditure is first discussed at board level. A procurement policy has been approved by the Company’s relevant committees which seeks to ensure that supplier relationships are regularly reviewed to ensure ongoing fitness for purpose and value for money, as part of the Group’s sustainability initiatives.

The Company abides by the Modern Slavery Statement and is committed to ensuring that its business dealings are carried out in compliance with relevant laws and, in doing so, the Group endorses the implementation and promotion of ethical business practices to protect workers from being abused and exploited. 

Communities and the environment

Why the Company engages

The Company recognises the importance of sustainability to its key stakeholders and is committed to supporting local communities and reducing its environmental impact.

How the Company engages

The Company’s Charity Committee exists to oversee and channel the Company’s corporate charitable donations and forge partnerships with organisations which align with causes close to colleagues anywhere in the world, and where the Company’s support can make a meaningful impact.

In addition, the Charity Committee exists to encourage employee engagement in its activities and in those organisations which the Company is supporting. All employees are entitled to 2 days for charitable volunteering each year for organisations of their choice, and the Company match-funds employee donations up to £500 each per year.

The Committee’s overriding focus is to support charities that work to promote human welfare. In line with the above, in recent years the Company has particularly focused on charities that work to further training, skills and employment opportunities for people from challenging and disadvantaged backgrounds, especially young people, both in the UK and overseas.

In the financial year end to 31 March 2023, the Company donated over £255,000 to charitable causes. This included donations to its main charity partners: The Brain Tumour Charity, Justice & Care, Bedford & District Cerebral Palsy Society, East End Community Foundation and the the Nick Kilhams Foundation. The Company also made donations to the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) Ukraine appeal as well as a number of other smaller organisations local to the Company’s employees.

In recent years, great progress has been made at BPL to identify and address our Corporate Social Responsibilities (“CSR”) and our Environmental, Social and Governance (“ESG”) obligations. In August 2023, we published our second Carbon Reduction Plan in accordance with the UK Government’s PPN 06/21 and associated guidance and reporting standard for Carbon Reduction Plans. This sets out our UK emissions for the latest reporting year (being our financial year end to 31st March 2023), against baseline year emissions for the financial year to 31st March 2020. We are publicly committed to achieving NetZero emissions in the UK by 2035, and will continue to publish a Carbon Reduction Plan on an annual basis moving forward.

We are working to establish our demographics and recognise how diverse a company we are and how we can make proactive steps to promote access, development, and inclusivity. We are conscious that any decisions within the CSR and ESG space are followed by meaningful actions. Our work continues as we stay focused on this important area for our business.

These initiatives as detailed in our Social Values Report 2022 and our ESG policy, aim to promote and reaffirm our culture of belonging and opportunity for all, whilst recognising the important role business has in addressing wider global environmental and social issues and promoting positive change. We have engaged with the Lloyd’s market and wider Insurance networks and specialised outside organisations, to develop our commitment to a series of actions through to the end of 2023 and beyond, that are both meaningful and measurable. The Company has recently partnered with VisionPath and continues our longstanding partnerships with Uptree (who assist with social integration) and the Resurgo Trust (a UK-registered charity) to support our ambitions for social mobility and integration within the Insurance sector. In 2023, we plan to take on two Apprentices via the VisionPath network. We are also committed to our work with Ambitious About Autism to promote work opportunities and support for the neurodiverse. In addition, we partner with the Employers Network for Equality & Inclusion who guide, support and challenge the business in relation to CSR policy and practice. They also provide support to ensure we remain culturally mindful in the CSR, ESG and D&I space given our global presence.  We also have representation at the Lloyd’s Corporation’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Forum.


Why the Company engages

As an insurance intermediary in the financial services sector, the Company operates in a highly regulated environment and is subject to the oversight and supervision by regulators in the jurisdictions within which it operates.

How the Company engages

The Company’s UK subsidiary is authorised and regulated by the Financial Authority Conduct (“FCA”) and has an open and transparent communication with the FCA, engaging with the UK regulator as required or requested, and in compliance with Principle 11 of the FCA Handbook. The Company’s other subsidiaries and/or branches outside the UK are licensed to operate in their respective jurisdictions: France, New York, Singapore, Hong Kong and Switzerland. The Company engages with regulators in these jurisdictions as needed. In June 2023, the UK Branch of the Company’s French subsidiary was authorised in the UK by the FCA in advance of the closure of the UK Temporary Permissions Regime (“TPR”), under which it had been operating since the end of the Brexit transition period on 31 December 2020.

The Company’s regulatory communications and liaison are managed by the Compliance Department. The Compliance Director is a member of the Group’s Finance, Risk, Audit and Compliance Committee (FRACC) and provides quarterly updates to the committee, with significant matters escalated to the board as necessary. 


Why the Company engages

The Company finds itself in the relatively unique position of being entirely employee-owned which makes dialogue with shareholders even more important for its board bearing in mind that implicitly a good deal of its employees will be shareholders: there is a high degree of circuity at play in that a satisfied shareholder means a satisfied employee that in turn will strive for greater success leading to greater reward for that individual in the form of their stake becoming more valuable. Hence the Company’s board understanding the importance of providing information to shareholders regularly so that they are able to fully understand how the investment of their remuneration stands to provide them with both future income from distributions and long-term capital growth.

How the Company engages

The Company holds “town hall” meetings that all staff and shareholders are freely able to attend. These act as interim annual general meetings (with a formal AGM taking place each October), allowing senior management (Executive Chairman, CEO’s, CFO) to update all in attendance on the progress of the Group, any new developments or initiatives that may impact them, and current financial performance. For those unable to attend, these meetings are recorded and posted on the Group’s internal website for replay at employees’ convenience.  

BPL is the world’s leading broker specialising exclusively in credit and political risk insurance (CPRI) for multinational corporations, financial institutions, global investors and public agencies.