Broker trade bodies could merge by the end of the year

Biba and the IIB are in talks over a merger.

The trade bodies have confirmed that they are in formal discussions, under heads of agreement, about the two organisations coming together, with an aim to complete negotiations by the end of the year.

Biba chairman Patrick Smith made the announcement during his opening address of the Biba 2011 conference and exhibition in Manchester today. 

Biba chief executive Eric Galbraith said: "I strongly believe that in the new regulatory environment one voice within the broking sector is needed. One association would add strength to our lobbying campaigns on the big issues affecting brokers.

“This is a very important year for brokers and Biba will continue to focus on representing members on the forthcoming regulation changes and the review of the FSCS – areas where we are already working with the IIB.”

It is intended that Barbara Bradshaw and the IIB team will form part of the combined organisation. 

IIB chief executive Barbara Bradshaw said: "There are major challenges ahead for brokers and the IIB considers that, in the current economic and regulatory environment, the time is right for the two organisations to build further on the collaborative working that has already been taking place with Biba.”

Galbraith and Bradshaw confirmed that they continue to keep their members’ interests at the heart of what they do, and will keep both memberships advised as discussions develop. Until then, it will be business as usual.