A leading broker has slam-med Biba over its schemes business, arguing that it causes a "conflict of interest".

Broker Network chief executive Grant Ellis said the trade body was "compromising its position" by selling schemes.

Ellis said that "trade bodies are there to lobby", not to sell schemes.

He said that Biba, which he had chosen to represent the Broker Network, had developed products that competed with his company. "Biba competes with me. It offers schemes which compete with the things we have arranged. There is a potential conflict of interest when it sells schemes."

Ellis said he would like to see Biba restrict its activities to lobbying government on trade issues, rather than spreading resources too thinly.

He urged regional brokers to make their voices heard across the sector.

"In the broker market, people don't put their time down for trade bodies. So trade associations don't represent the interests of the wider broker industry - just the vested interests of the few."

Biba defended its approach saying it had offered schemes "for many years", and the majority of its members had reported to find them useful.

Biba technical services manager Graeme Trudgill said: "Most of our time is spent lobbying. Schemes don't use a lot of resources.

"In fact, schemes help to keep subscription costs down, and often the fees generated by them are used to fund our lobbying activities."