Feedback shows that members ‘want to keep insurance in the title’.

The Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) has been forced to back down on plans to change its name as it tries to reinvent itself as a global financial services body.

The CII had proposed to rebrand itself as the Chartered Institute of Financial Services as part of a merger with its sister body, the Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance.

But it had to change its mind after complaints from some of its 80,000 members. One called the proposal a “despicable act to relegate the insurance industry to an afterthought”.

The CII is now proposing to call itself the Chartered Institute of Insurance and Financial Services (CIIFS).

A spokesman said: “We had a consultation and the feedback from members was that they would like to keep insurance in the title.”

She said “this kind of feedback” was the reason members were consulted.

In a letter to Insurance Times, Ted Cordener of Kent called for all members to block the name change.

“The decision to change the CII name is a despicable act to relegate the insurance industry to an afterthought,” he wrote.

“What’s more, the IFS School of Finance for many years has been known as the Institute of Financial Services.”

He urged members to vote against the proposals and send a message to the institute’s leaders that insurance should remain the focus and that there was no need to use an existing organisation’s name.

“Doing so does not set an example of good ethics or professionalism,” he wrote.

There are now questions over whether members will agree to the Australian merger proposal, which will be voted on in February.

If it is approved, the CIIFS will have 105,000 members – 30,000 with chartered status – across 170 countries, making it the largest professional membership body for financial services in the world.

Income will rise to £36m, £8m more than the CII alone, but membership fees are expected to stay the same.