We were intrigued to read the commentary on the "competition row" surrounding Fusion Underwriting Agency (News, 9 February) because of echoes from the past.

The panel insurers have no problem when they come to quote 'direct' against business already held by their brokers.

This has spread from the motor field (Norwich Union, for example) into the commercial field (AXA, for example, which is ringing up broker clients and offering quotes even when it is told the client is already insured with AXA).

Here we have an additional scenario in terms of "muscle in the market" as exhibited by Towergate.

Towergate is of course an independent company and has a lot of bright ideas, but that is where we have heard it all before.

Tim Dowlen
Argent Insurance Brokers