Direct Group and Close Brothers sign three-year exclusive contract extension

Direct Group (DG), the leading insurance services business and part of Ardonagh Group, has signed a major new finance deal with Close Brothers Premium Finance.

The agreement will see Close Brothers continue as exclusive partner for DG’s home, SME and motor books for a further three years, and DG CEO Derek Coles said the agreement would enable the Group to broaden its finance offer to other parts of the group for the first time.

Coles said: We are delighted to continue partnering Close Brothers, a market leading finance provider, which underscores the importance RDG attaches to long term, sustainable relationships in our consumer facing brands Simple Insurance (property, life, travel and pet) and Only Young Drivers (motor) and in broking via Fortress (property).

Sharon Bishop, Chief Executive of Close Brothers Premium Finance, said: “We look forward to helping RDG deliver the best possible finance solutions for their customers as we help make insurance more affordable. Our considerable technology investment in our offering will include developing flexible solutions, such as pay-as-you-go financing, in keeping with changing customer priorities. We are delighted to have Derek and RDG as our client.”

“The FCA’s thematic review of premium finance, published in May last year, had recommended improvements to the way information is given to customers and ensuring that customers can easily compare the different options.” added Coles.

Understanding that the regulator was continuing to keep a watching brief on the premium finance industry, Coles continued, “In response, DG and Close Brothers have together developed a financing model that is strongly customer outcome focused, acknowledging the highest possible regulatory standards which are now a hygiene factor.”