Premium finance rivals, including Premium Credit, Prompt and Singer & Friedlander, were due to meet yesterday to discuss setting up a new trade body for insurance industry finance companies.

Tony Worthy, managing director of Singer & Friedlander, said six leading premium finance companies were meeting to discuss industry-wide issues such as the implementation of General Insurance Standards Council (GISC) competency, data protection and fraud.

Worthy said while finance companies did not have to comply with GISC standards, they may consider doing so to be familiar with the regulatory pressure placed on their clients.

Worthy added that data protection was a concern. He explained most premium finance companies kept electronic records of customers.

He said the Data Protection Act required records to be accurate and that finance companies found it difficult to verify records because the information was gathered by brokers, not themselves.

Worthy added that fraud among brokers is a continuing worry and it would help if the industry pooled information.