Bland Bankart has denied it is in talks with Jardine Lloyd Thompson about selling up.

Senior sources in the market said that Jardine Lloyd Thompson (JLT), is in "advanced discussions" to acquire the Midlands-based broker. But Bland Bankart owner and chief executive Philip Bland denied the speculation, saying: "We haven't even had one conversation with them. Rumours go around the market about us because it thinks something is going to happen. We're continuing to trade well."

JLT is known to be actively looking for acquisitions, following its recent purchase of Thames Valley broker Thomas Winter for £3.5m. John Hastings-Bass, chairman of JLT's retail insurance broking division told Insurance Times this week that the company is interested in acquiring brokers with fee and commission income of up to £20m. In this year's Insurance Times Top 50 Brokers, Bland Bankart is ranked 40th with fee and commission income of £14.6m.

JLT is thought to be particularly interested in acquisitions in the Midlands following its failed attempt to buy Birmingham-based Perkins Slade in January. aside from its head office in Leicester, Bland Bankart has offices in Thurmaston, Nottingham, Luton, Birmingham and London.

A spokesman for JLT said: "We don't normally comment on market gossip but it is not true that we are in discussions with Bland Bankart."