A Glasgow broker has lashed out at national broker Marsh in a row over client ownership.

Calcluth & Sangster believed some of its clients' details could be held by Marsh and passed on to a rival firm.

Calcluth & Sangster built up a book of social and working men's club business over a period of 10 years. Some of this was placed with a Marsh scheme that was underwritten by ACE.

Director Sandy McArthur explained the level of business being passed to Marsh was wound down over the past two to three years, because rates were "uncompetitive." Marsh then terminated its facility with Calcluth & Sangster.

Marsh is believed to be intending to work with Circle, another Glasgow broker, for club business.

"We were told we could not use the scheme any more and that details of the club business would be passed onto another broker," said McArthur.

But, Marsh has categorically denied any wrongdoing. In a letter, senior vice president Doug Kelley said: "We have not made any firm decisions over this yet, but as I am sure you appreciate, we can and do prospect for clients and where we hold relevant information that we are entitled to use, we do use this."

He stated that Marsh had not "transferred any renewal business to Circle."

A Marsh spokesperson added: "Marsh has been in correspondence with Calcluth & Sangster over the termination of their use of the Marsh Clubs' Scheme, due to their lack of support.

"As part of the discussions, the issue of the use that can be made of client renewal data was raised. Marsh regrets that Calcluth has misunderstood what that use would be.

"To be entirely clear, Marsh has not transferred, and has no intention of transferring to any replacement producing broker any data, renewal or otherwise, relating to any of Calcluth's clients."

Andrew Paddick, director general of the Institute of Insurance Brokers, has looked into the case. "This type of behaviour may not be wrong but you could say it is not very gentlemanly."

But, he warned: "This is a ruthless business environment and I would urge brokers to have non-solicitation clauses as part of written agreements when they work with wholesalers."

Paddick added that the best option for brokers who experience similar issues was to contact clients directly.

"They should inform clients that details may have been passed to a third party and if these clients are right minded people who have been satisfied with the original broker's service, they should remain loyal."