The Insurance Brokers Registration Council is on target to make a £100,000 surplus by the end of the year, says chairman Alan Gavaghan.

The six council members breathed a sigh of relief this week after they dispensed with their old offices at St Mary Axe in the City of London.

A Dutch Bank has taken on the £400,000 yearly lease which has helped balance the IBRC books.

Income has fallen from £1.9m in 1998 to £1.6m for this year due to the reduction in brokers signing up.

But numbers have remained surprisingly high considering the Government axe looming over the IBRC.

Just over 300 corporate firms have so far failed to renew membership to leave 1,621 on the register. There is also a similar reduction in the number of high street brokers enrolling, down from 1,665 to 1,330.

Overall, it represents only a 14% drop in numbers from 14,000 to 12,000 brokers, with the bulk of them enrolled under corporate bodies.

“Many brokers realise that they need to remain IBRC registered if they are to have a smooth transition to the new body that replaces it,” says Gavaghan.

“Other brokers have been slow to renew membership because they thought the IBRC was already closed.”

The IBRC has asked the Treasury to make another appointment to its numbers because none of the current members has an accountancy background, which Gavaghan says will ‘prove useful' when the Government finally repeals the Act that formed it.

A candidate with a background from one of the big four accountancy firms has been put forward.

There are currently nine Council members, including the three recent appointments made by former Economic Secretary Patricia Hewitt.

The IBRC has now rented new offices at 60 Lombard Street, also in the City, costing £50,000 a year. Dispensing with its former staff saved £90,000 a year, although the Council will not reveal the cost of outsourcing its administration to the Institute of Insurance Brokers.