Delegates support claims industry's efforts to self-regulate

The Claims Standards Council (CSC) was granted a stay of execution after conference delegates voted to continue efforts for self-regulation.

The poll was taken at a confernce in Birmiongham to decide the future of self-regulation of claims management companies.

CSC chief executive Anthony Burns-Howell had warned that if sufficient support were not forthcoming at the meeting, he would end efforts towards self-regulation and turn the problem over to the government.

Those firms wishing to join the CSC now have until the end of the month to pay their membership fees, or face another ultimatum.

Burns-Howell said there was a need for a "critical mass" to get behind self-regulation.

Norwich Union director of technical claims Dominic Clayden threw his support behind self-regulation of the claims management industry, but said should self-regulation not succeed, he would be "first in the queue" calling for statutory regulation.

Clayden urged claims management companies to get behind the CSC. But, he said. "I can't guarantee that we will endorse the CSC, but I can promise that we will open up a dialogue."

Clayden said there was an issue of lack of trust between insurers and claims management companies

"We can't be in the situation where we are engaging with you with the best will in the world and then find that the company is doing the claimant down."

Law society council member Fraser Whitehead, of law firm Russell Jones & Walker, said that if the claims management sector were to succeed with self-regulation, and a code of conduct was approved by a "suitable regulatory body", then there would be "significant pressure" on members to work only with those who were CSC members.