Regulator investigates if brokers breached rules in placing business

A number of brokers are now under investigation by GISC, following the collapse of underwriting agency Tribune Risk & Insurance Services.

A GISC spokeswoman confirmed that investigations would be carried out into "a few" brokers who had placed business through the Lothian-based intermediary.

"We will be looking at whether these brokers have breached GISC guidelines," she said.

In an effort to allay fears that the mere fact of an investigation against a broker would be passed on to the FSA, the spokeswoman said: "We will need substantial evidence [of breach of GISC rules] before we pass on any facts to the FSA."

This week, provisional liquidator PricewaterhouseCoopers began work to recover monies owed to Tribune's creditors. A PWC spokeswoman said: "We are keen to make rapid progress in the matter."

Meanwhile, Tribune's business dealings have now become the subject of a criminal investigation.

A spokesman for West Lothian & Borders Police said: "Our specialist fraud unit is now beginning an investigation into the insurance activities conducted through Tribune Risk & Insurance Services of Dalkeith."

The police will liaise with the FSA, which handed over responsibility for the investigation on Friday.

Tribune went into liquidation in December 2003, leaving 40,000 policyholders without cover.