The ABI will hold its first annual conference on 10 April 2003 at the QEII Centre in London.

It will use the maximum-impact event to emerge from the shadow created by its defunct British Bankers Association (BBA)merger.

An ABI spokesman said the association had undergone considerable change in the recent past.

"This is about a confident organisation looking forward and knowing we have a big job to do on behalfof the industry and with the industry to communicate the progress we've made," he said.

The spokesman said the ABI had attracted high-profile speakers, but would not comment on rumours that Treasury Economic Secretary Ruth Kelly would be among them.

He said senior representatives from insurance, government and business would attend.

The ABI has not set a date to begin official marketing of its conference. It announced last month that it would not merge with the BBA, following a six-month study by KPMG into the potential move.