The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) is facing two challenges to its decision to clear the General Insurance Standards Council (GISC) rulebook.

Both the Institute of Insurance Brokers (IIB) and the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) are applying for a review following the controversial decision to clear rule 42.

It allows all members of the ABI to cancel the agency of any intermediary that does not join the GISC. The deadline for appeal is this Friday.

IIB director general Andrew Paddick said he had substantial documents to lodge with the OFT, for the perusal of director general John Vickers.

Paddick said the papers formed a request for a withdrawal or variation of Vickers' earlier decision to clear the GISC rulebook under chapter one of the Competition Act.

He will also ask the OFT to conduct a full investigation of the case under chapter two of the act, which covers abuse of a dominant position.

An interim order will also be lodged to suspend the GISC during the investigation period.

ABTA also confirmed that it would challenge the OFT decision after its failure to secure either an exemption or delegated authority from the GISC to regulate its own members.

ABTA calculates that signing up to the GISC rules will cost travel agents £2m. It believes its own code of conduct adequately protects members.

An OFT spokeswoman said there was no set deadline by which the office had to examine the challenges.

“It'll be looked at as soon as possible, taking into account the seriousness of the matter,” she said.

This week, the Law Society urged its members to join the GISC if they sell general insurance policies. It had also sought delegated authority from the GISC, but was refused.

“It had argued that its members were introducers rather than actual sellers of general insurance polices,” said a GISC spokesperson.