The Institute of Insurance Brokers (IIB) has confirmed that it will challenge the Office of Fair Trading's (OFT) decision to clear the General Insurance Standards Council's (GISC) rulebook.

And it has found an unlikely ally in the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA), which is also considering an appeal.

The IIB will first apply to the OFT director general, John Vickers, asking him to reconsider. If Vickers refuses it will go direct to the Competition Commission. If that fails it will try the Court of Appeal.

IIB director general Andrew Paddick claims he is funding his two barristers and two solicitors through donations from brokers following his appeal for a fighting fund. He says non-IIB and some Lloyd's brokers have made generous donations.

ABTA reckons the GISC rules will cost travel agents £2m if they were to become GISC members in their own right. It believes its own code of conduct adequately protects consumers.

The IIB is insisting that the OFT forces the GISC to suspend introduction of rule F 42 – the rule that allows insurers to pull agency agreements with non GISC members – until the legal action has been resolved.

But the GISC said the rule would not go live until much later anyway, possibly even next year. It hopes the working party looking into introduction will report on transition arrangements in April.