The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has rejected the remainder of the Institute of Insurance Brokers' (IIB) objections to its decision on the General Insurance Standards Council (GISC), giving the broker trade body just one last route of appeal before admitting defeat, writes Christine Seib.
The OFT had already thrown out the bulk of IIB's complaints in March. They centre around a GISC rule that allows insurers to cancel the agency agreements of non-members.
However, Andrew Paddick, the IIB director general, has vowed to lodge an appeal this week with the Competition Commission's Appeals Tribunal.
He is also going ahead with a debate in Birmingham next month, where he will ask brokers what they want to do after the closure of the Insurance Brokers' Registration Council.
A spokesman said OFT director general John Vickers had dismissed Paddick's appeal because “it didn't give any further information that would justify the director general varying his decision”.
Paddick said he had expected the rejection and already had a QC working on his appeal to the tribunal. He will apply for “interim relief”, which would freeze the GISC until the tribunal heard his appeal.
He admitted that if he failed to win interim relief, his case would, in effect, be lost.
“We'll be out of time to go anywhere else,” Paddick said.
“We've got the European Court but it takes ages and the GISC would be a fait accompli.”
The tribunal's registrar Charles Dhanowa said the relief application could be heard within two weeks, although the entire case could last up to six months.