The ABI has begun a major crackdown on organised fraud rings that are costing the insurance industry tens of millions of pounds a year.

Head of the ABI anti-fraud committee said that a pilot analysis of ABI's anti-fraud database had revealed a number of examples of cross-industry fraud and the potential to crack up to £50m of organised crime.

Neaves said: "The FSA has challenged the industry to respond to fraud.This is what we are doing.

"We are looking at cross-industry fraud and how we can use the database to deliver real value to the market."

He added: "We expect this to happen this year."

A potential link-up between the ABI database and its banking equivalent, CIFAS, will allow insurers to exclude fraudsters from banking and credit sectors as well as general insurance.

Neaves said: "Ultimately we will be excluding organised criminals from the insurance sector."

Information from the database will be used to alert insurers to ongoing fraud, blacklist fraudsters from the insurance sector and pursue prosecutions against the criminals.

But Neaves denied the ABI was considering funding private prosecutions.

He said: "The challenge to the government is to do something with the evidence we can provide.

"We have to persuade the Home Office and the government to take this much more seriously. This is not just about insurance fraud it is about serious crime."

Polaris seeks anti-fraud database provider
Polaris is currently in a tender process with a number of IT providers to decide who will run the anti-fraud database on a permanent basis.

The industry body is also merging with IDSL, which manages the Claims and Underwriting Exchange (CUE), one of the three databases that make up the ABI anti-fraud database. The other two databases are MIAFTR (Motor Insurance Anti-Fraud and Theft Register) and MID (Motor Insurers' Database).

Staged accidents
One of the current frauds being undertaken by criminal gangs is to make multiple personal injury claims following bus crashes.

The scheme works by the bus driving staging an accident and then getting criminal accomplices to file false claims relating to the accident.

The driver will then change jobs and perpetrate the same fraud all over again resulting in tens of thousands of pounds in false claims.