The Insurance Brokers Registration Council is going to be disbanded at the end of this month, after 24 years of existence. But the public should breathe a sigh of relief if the disciplinary tribunal of Derek Wright is a typical example of how the IBRC operates.

The disciplinary board looked a little apprehensive when an Insurance Times reporter walked through the door for the first hearing two weeks ago. No wonder, considering the debacle that followed. The first hearing was adjourned because Wright's solicitor had not been given enough time to look at the evidence. Then, in the second hearing last Thursday (March 29), the case was thrown out because the IBRC had been too slow to hear it.

Derek Wright was first investigated three years ago. The IBRC investigating committee informed him that he would face a disciplinary hearing in March 1998. But they failed to pass this information onto the disciplinary committee.

This is a sad note for the IBRC to end on, but one that hopefully sounds a warning to its replacement, the GISC. It faces an enormous task in regulating every general insurance seller in the land which, by its own estimation, is ten times more than the 3,000 brokers on the IBRC books. If chief executive Chris Woodburn does not run the tightest of ships, there will be some embarrassing leaks.