Current regulator faces legal wrangle on disclosure of member files

Information on up to150 insurers and brokers who are "not in good standing" with GISC could be passed to the FSA.

GISC chief executive Chris Woodburn said the regulator was currently seeking legal advice regarding passing details of ongoing investigations to the FSA.

He said there were currently around 150 insurers and brokers involved in unresolved disciplinary procedures who were considered "not in good standing".

Woodburn said: "If firms are not in good standing we want to pass material information to the FSA that might impact on the authorisation process."

But concerns have been raised about possible legal issues involved in the handover of information, which could infringe on data protection laws and expose GISC to defamation claims.

"It's a difficult area. We want to be sure that we're not inadvertently defaming a member or breaching the Data Protection Act," Woodburn said.

"We want to find out how we can responsibly tell the FSA what we should be telling it."

He added that GISC will accelerate its disciplinary processes in order to resolve as many cases as possible before the handover to the FSA.

It is expected that the FSA will reach agreement with GISC about what information it needs by the middle of January 2004.

An FSA spokeswoman said: "We are in dialogue with the relevant voluntary regulatory bodies to agree what information we will require."