A long-awaited industry-funded advertising cam-paign aimed at tackling lower level fraud has been abandoned by the ABI.

The anti-fraud campaign, which Insurance Times first revealed last year (News, 27 April), had been expected to coincide with the launch of the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) last June.

But the ABI has now decided to shelve the idea, in order to work alongside the FSA in raising awareness among consumers of the cost of insurance fraud, such as exaggerating and falsifying domestic claims.

"The FSA is looking to develop a positive public relations message around the need to reduce oppor-tunistic fraud and we want to discuss that with them in the next couple of weeks," admitted an ABI spokesman.

"As the FSA is looking to develop a similar campaign, it seemed the logical thing, before spending thousands of pounds on an advert-ising campaign, to talk to them first."

Suggestions have been made that concerns over funding had halted the campaign's launch.

It is understood some insurers have privately questioned how the campaign would be funded.

According to market sources, with funding already limited for the IFB, which is charged with clamping down on major organised fraud, insurers would prefer money to be spent on fraud detection rather than advertising.

The ABI said that funding was not a factor in its decision making.

In an ABI survey carried out in 2002, nearly 40% of respondents said they would be prepared to make up an insurance claim, with nearly half being prepared to exaggerate a claim.

Timeline: ABI anti-fraud campaign
•September 2005 – The ABI sends representatives over to Ireland to pick up fraud busting techniques from its counterpart, the Irish Insurance Federation (IIF)

•April 2006 – The ABI announces plans to launch an anti-fraud advertising campaign to coincide with the IFB launch

•June 2006 – The IFB is launched, but the advertising campaign is slow to progress

•December 2006 – The ABI continues discussions over the campaign and an expected launch date is set for mid-2007

•March 2007 – The ABI scraps plans for an anti-fraud advertising campaign.