Columbus Insurance Services and broker Hamilton Barr are in merger talks.

The Knightsbridge-based retailer Columbus Insurance Services is the insurance arm of Columbus Financial Services Group.

The company already sells a range of Hamilton Barr policies under the brand name

Columbus Insurance Services managing director Bryan Warburton said: “Hamilton Barr has a solid trading name in the travel insurance market. The idea is to form a truly modern ‘clicks and mortar' operation, in which we can offer our agents a great product.”

Hamilton Barr acts as a wholesaler on behalf of a number of insurers, including CNA, CGNU, Axa and Lloyd's.

Adrian Foley, managing director of Hamilton Barr, said: “The talks are going very well. Columbus has been a client of ours for more than ten years.”

He added that he hoped the discussions would be wrapped up within the next month.

The companies will keep trading under their own separate brand names .