Industry-led initiative better than government intervention, says NACHO deputy chairman

An independent chairman will be appointed to resolve conflict between credit hire operators (CHOs) and insurers, the deputy chairman of the National Association of Credit Hire Operators (NACHO) has revealed.

Tony Copeland, also managing director of Berkshire-based credit hire operator Vision, said: “There is a common opinion between both credit hire operators and insurers that further governance is required to improve the current process in place to deal with any disputes or complaints.”

He said that the chairman would act within the terms outlined in the ABI’s General Terms of Agreement (GTA), which sets out a framework for the settlement of credit hire claims. The costs will be met by the subscribers of the GTA.

“The purpose of the proposed change is to resolve differences in opinion or interpretation of the GTA rather than to re-word any of the terms. Therefore, it was agreed that an independent chairman should be selected and appointed, with a secretary. It is hoped that this can be achieved within the next six months, though the sooner the better for many people.”

He added that the likely candidate would be someone with high-level experience in mediation or dispute resolution, perhaps from a legal background.

Copeland said this industry-led initiative would be preferable to many insurers’ calls for government imposed regulations.

“In terms of government intervention, there are more things we can do before we get to that stage,” Copeland said.

“I don’t see why we should not be able to fix the majority of the problems. I don’t see why government intervention would change things.”

He said the guidelines laid out under the GTA still provided a good framework.

Copeland also pointed out that government-imposed compliance could push up costs for both credit hire operators and insurers, and added that operators were already subject to the FSA.

“It means we have to make sure we are transparent in our services,” he said.