Brokers should have fewer insurers on their panels, according to senior industry figures. Speaking at the conference, Ken Davie, managing director of JW Group, told delegates: "We use far too many insurers at the moment. There should be a natural trend towards reducing the number of insurers".

Colin Calder, of the CII's faculty of insurance broking, agreed. "Tied arrangements are an essential part of brokers' role," he said.

But Martin Oliver, managing director of Kwik-Fit Financial Services, disagreed: "I am sceptical of a tied or limited panel approach. In fact, we are increasing the number of insurers on our panel". Oliver emphasised that panel size would naturally vary, with high-volume personal lines necessitating a larger panel.