Email suggests claims council chief executive will call for statutory regulation

The Claims Standards Council (CSC) has denied that the decision to end efforts for self-regulation of the claims management sector has already been taken.

In an open email sent to claims management companies, Raymond Clewer, a member of CSC forerunner the Personal Injury Federation, said that CSC chief executive Anthony Burns-Howell "is to inform the government at the end of February 2005 that the industry will not support the council and the government should create restrictive legislation immediately".

But a spokesman for the CSC said no decision had been taken yet, and that Burns-Howell's comments made at the recent CSC conference in Birmingham had been misinterpreted.

He also said Clewer had not been in contact with the CSC, and was not a member of the CSC council.

At the CSC conference, Burns-Howell warned claims management companies that if the council did not receive a "critical mass" of support from the industry, he would ask the government to step in with statutory regulation.

The CSC has indicated that 50 members could be sufficient support for self-regulation to continue. The CSC said it currently has 17 fully paid members, and has received 75 inquiries about membership. A steering group meeting is set for 10 March when the decision will be taken.

Prior to that meeting, Burns-Howell has written to claims management companies asking for permission to include their name on a list of those who have "expressed their support and intention to join".

He said there was near unanimous support for the CSC at its recent meeting in Birmingham. "I want to take advantage of that momentum - to show anyone who is sceptical that we are here and we are going to be a force."