Rumours of Broker Direct's imminent sale have been strongly refuted by its chairman and majority shareholder, Andrew Paddick.

Speculation about Broker Direct's position in the market was rife after it announced a move into the SME market.

One broker said: "It is surprising that it [Broker Direct] has moved into SME when everybody seems to be doing it, and its core focus is supposed to be motor.

The source continued: "It is obvious that it is getting ready to sell up."

A mystified Paddick retorted: "I am the majority shareholder, and if we are up for sale I think I would know about it, and nobody has told me."