Trade body plans to lobby MPs over issue as number of complaints increases

Biba plans to lobby for tighter enforcement of the Lending Standards Board’s lending code in 2011, following complaints by brokers that banks have used strong-arm tactics to poach customers.

The Biba 2011 manifesto, revealed today, includes the topic as a campaigning issue. Biba head of corporate affairs Graeme Trudgill said the trade body had received increasing numbers of complaints from its members over the last 18 months and plans to lobby MPs on the issue.

Trudgill said: “Members are raising this with us more and more often. The question is drawing the line between what’s competition and what’s breaching regulation. When banks put pressure on customers, that’s unacceptable.”

Wolverhampton-based broker KGJ Insurance Group filed a complaint to the FSA last month after claiming that banks had poached two of its customers.

Other key Biba 2011 manifesto issues are:

• regulatory changes, including revision of the EU Insurance Mediation Directive, reducing the cost of regulation to insurance intermediaries and a review of Financial Services Compensation Scheme levies;

• helping to find cover for properties in flood zones, promoting resilient repair and lobbying the government to implement the Flood and Water Management Act; and

• ensuring that pricing, cover restrictions, exclusions and quotes are clear for customers buying insurance online.