The CII is facing an internal backlash over proposals to reform the body's governance structure.

Insurance Times has learned that a group of regional members have set up a sub-committee to fight against what they see as the "centralisation" of the CII. It is understood that

Ian Gearing, president of the CII's Liverpool committee and chief executive of broker Exchange Insurance, is spearheading the group.

One source close to the CII said: "There is a real fear that the CII is moving away from a membership base to become a commercial lobbying body."

But the CII insisted it was listening to the concerns of its members and is looking at ways to support the local institutes.

The local members' fears stem from CII proposals to introduce best practice standards, extend the current council, create an independent advisory group and consolidate the committee structure with members from the regions.

A Scottish source said: "There is a feeling that the CII's strategy is driven from London and doesn't take into account some very important and buoyant regional markets."

Another source added: "This is a bid for local power and it is pure politics. The regional committee's case is not very strong. The CII has turned itself around under the leadership of Sandy Scott."

Andy Homer, chief executive of Towergate, said the CII was to be commended for its efforts.

"The proposal being put to the membership have my strong support. The CII has to renew itself and succeeds because of the passion and pride of the band of unpaid professionals that support the full-time executive.

"Improving accountability, responsibility and governance is part of that constant renewal. Members should support it."

Lee Gladwell, group sales and marketing director for the CII, said: "We have the greatest of concerns for our members and have a body set up to look at how we can support local institutes.

"We are also recruiting in new positions to help support local institutes. "Ian Gearing declined to comment.

The governance game

  • Lord Hunt of Wirral was commissioned to review the CII's governance structure
  • His proposals on best practice standards developed into specific recommendations by a committee chaired by former CII president Allan Bridgewater
  • CII Council approved proposals in July
  • An open consultation has been launched, with a series of roadshows to be staged in September and October
  • At the November council meeting final proposals will be discussed and approved
  • Topics