Members of the Chartered Institute of Loss Adjusters (Cila) should "make up their own minds" as to whether it is worth joining the General Insurance Standards Council (GISC), said outgoing president Gerald Williams.
Addressing the institute's AGM, in what was his last official speech as president, he failed to endorse GISC membership and emphasised to members that the Financial Services Authority's (FSA) new regulatory regime was "inevitable".
"I leave it up to you to decide whether to join GISC...The one thing we know through our talks with the FSA is that the costs to implement the new regulatory regime will not be anything like the GISC proposal.
"Regulation is something we should welcome and embrace, not fight," he said.
He also dismissed recent reports in the trade press that Cila had decided to rewrite its charter for members and saw no reason to change its handbook. But he admitted that a "working party has been set up to review [the institute's] practices in this changing, modern market."
Last year Cila announced it was initiating a strategic review of its structure and membership. Williams said a code of conduct will be published soon by the executive board, outlining a proposal for those companies and individuals working in "claims presentation and loss assessing" to become Cila members "if they comply by its rules."
Williams' deputy, George Moss, was voted in by Cila members as its new president. Moss, 48, is managing director of Crawford & Co's customer relations office. He told the AGM that though this was going to an "unpredictable year", he was committed to take Cila forward and to negotiate with the Treasury and FSA to make sure future regulation was "relevant to our members."
His deputy is Michael Burnett, 51, Cunningham Lindsey's regional director for Ireland.