I write in response to Mark Wood's letter on Biba schemes (Letters, 1 March). There are a number of points which should be made.

Biba's involvement in schemes is only a small percentage of the overall activity. I think it would be a grave injustice to suggest that the running of these schemes is in any way detrimental to the primary function of being a strong industry voice with the government, the regulator and other stakeholders.

Biba has been involved in schemes for many years, long before networks were around and, indeed, this activity is part of the memorandum and articles of association.

The income greatly offsets the overall cost of membership and gives smaller members access to markets that perhaps they would not otherwise have.

A large percentage of Biba's membership are not involved with networks. Biba schemes are arranged for its members by its members and controlled through its general insurance brokers committee.

I would reiterate that without the income provided by these schemes, Biba would have no alternative but to substantially increase membership fees, which would hit smaller members proportionally more.

Biba continues to lobby government on a number of issues and this will no doubt always remain its primary function.

Neil Thornton, Chairman, General insurance brokers committee, Biba

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