Biba is to commission a major research project into the size of the broker market in a bid to boost its lobbying power.

Chief executive Eric Galbraith said: "There is no definitive profile of the broking sector. The ABI has plenty of facts and figures on its members that are largely based on insurance company returns.

"But the scale of our market is less well documented."

He said the study would show in facts and figures the size of the market and would help Biba's lobbying role.

"If I'm talking to someone in government, I need to say this is the scope of the broking market. I want to show what we do and our influence in the economy. This will also help our media positioning."

Galbraith said the research will take around six months. Three companies, including a university, are currently tendering for the work.

"This is going to be a considerable investment for Biba, but I am convinced it will be well worth it. We need to show how influential we are and have credible statistics to prove it," he added.