Plans are underway to launch an international fraud database that would allow insurers to target insurance fraudsters on a global scale.

The initiative, spearheaded by the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) which includes members – including the FSA – from 140 different countries, has been given high priority and is expected to take at least two years to develop.

Diane Colton, chair of the insurance fraud sub-committee at the IAIS in Switzerland, said the database would allow insurers, for the first time, to share information and access lists of known fraudsters and inventories of fraud cases that have happened across the world.

Colton said: “The world is becoming more global so it is essential to do this on a global scale. Problems experienced by certain countries may spread to others and the better the information systems the better it will work against fraud.”

Colton said the international database could prevent fraudsters, who may have their activities blocked in some countries, from being able to commit similar crimes elsewhere in the world.

The database will focus heavily on internal fraud, policyholder and claims fraud and intermediary fraud.

The database was given priority by the IAIS following a survey that was distributed within the international insurance industry to gain insight into fraud and how best to tackle it.

The UK insurance industry is also looking at forming a database under new freedoms granted by the Serious Crime Bill, which received Royal Assent late last year and would allow for improved data sharing between the public and private sectors.

Discussions have taken place between industry officials and the Home Office.

No concrete plans have been put into place.