Kent, East Midlands and Scotland markets named as key areas in broker drive

Broker Network is to target three British regions in a bid to strengthen its geographical spread of network members.

Chief executive Grant Ellis said the network would be seeking new members in Kent, the East Midlands, and Scotland.

"We are looking at expanding in areas where we aren't that strong at the moment," said Ellis.

He said the Glasgow broker market had seen less consolidation than in the rest of Scotland, providing opportunities for Broker Network to expand there.

Ellis said the enquiry rate of brokers seeking to join the network had "definitely gone up" since FSA regulation began in January this year.

"More and more people are expressing an interest in exiting the industry, now that they have gotten through compliance."

He added: "The access to market we provide and assistance for brokers in growing their businesses have become the key offering since January."

Ellis also predicted that 2005 would see more brokers moving between networks and alliances than before. "I can see people in alliances moving to networks and questioning the value they get from being in an alliance."

He said Broker Network had never lost a member to a rival network, but that neither had it gained a member from another network.

Last week, the network announced the acquisition of Bury-based Wyndale Insurance Brokers, its eleventh since it floated on AIM in May 2004. It is due to report on its first full year as an AIM company shortly.