The collection of policy application information is an essential part of e-commerce for the insurance sector, according to a leading player in the development of internet trading tools for the financial services sector.

"Virtually no other industry matches the one-to-one ratio between sales and support staff found in the sector," said Hogg Robinson operations director Peter Catt.

Speaking at a recent seminar on the e-commerce revolution, he added: "To maintain profitability, IFA organisations need to either increase the number of consultants employed without increasing administration costs or they must drastically reduce the number of administrators."