The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has denied an industry rumour that it has stepped up its compliance checks as the demise of its code get closer.

The ABI code will be retired as soon as the General Insurance Standards Council begins regulating the industry, although no date has yet been set.

A source said the ABI had warned insurers against using an unusually high number of agencies in recent weeks. This effectively closes down the agency.

However, an ABI spokeswoman said, there had recently been no more warnings than usual. She would not reveal the names or locations of the agencies.

The ABI has cancelled more than 100 agencies since it began the visits in 1997.