The Institute of Insurance Brokers (IIB) is planning to hold a debate in June to decide what to do after last week's closure of the statutory regulator, the Insurance Brokers' Registration Council.
Initially, the IIB said it would have a replacement regulator in place by May 1. But director general Andrew Paddick said he has been hamstrung by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT).
The IIB is complaining that Rule F42, allowing insurers to cancel agencies of non-General Insurance Standards Council (GISC) members, is anti-competitive. Some of the IIB's objections to the rule have already been dismissed under Chapter One of the Competition Act, but not Chapter Two.
To compound problems, Patricia Carville, the OFT officer reviewing the case, has taken maternity leave.
Paddick is now inviting brokers to a debate in Birmingham to discuss three options. “If there is enough support, we can either go ahead with our own regulatory body and see whether or not insurers will cancel agencies of brokers controlling millions of pounds worth of premiums,” he said.
“We can wait and see if we are successful in our claim that Rule F 42 is unfair. Or we can decide to put forward a list of complaints that need to be addressed before we join the supposedly voluntary GISC.”
If the OFT throws out the rest of the IIB objections, Paddick will take the case before the Competition Commission tribunal.
A firm date for the debate has yet to be set.