Misys Financial Systems' (MFS) sister company, Screentrade, has unveiled plans to become a digital television broker by this June.

The internet broker, which has been visited by 500,000 users in the ten months to November, plans to make certain products available on television by the end of the first financial quarter.

James Thorburn, product development manager at Screentrade, said: "The business concept is the same as our internet service. We are looking to offer a digital television service as soon as possible.

"We have been aggressively developing the service for some time and we are currently at the testing stage.

"We recognised in the middle of last year that digital television is going to be a fundamental way forward for us. We are aggressively trying to get ourselves involved in development that is going on."

Thorburn said that the quotation engine for the service would be the same as the Misys broking system. It is intended that the service will offer fully interactive quotations with travel the first product to be made available on digital television.

"We are at advanced stages of negotiation with some insurers and certain contracts are in place."

However, news of the move immediately caused a stir in the broking community. One Misys broker said: "Obviously it is not great news. Of course it is going to have an effect on brokers and anybody who is kidded by Misys' arguments needs to sharpen up a little."

Misys plc corporate communications director, Alastair MacDonald, denied that the move would compete with MFS's traditional broker client base. He said: "Nothing changes insofar as this is Screentrade competing with people like direct writers. It is just broadening out the service we offer on the internet.

"Most brokers would not want to go to national media. Brokers will use local media. The bigger players tend to be direct players and this is competing with direct providers not brokers. Obviously brokers have their positioning in the local market. That is a strong position based on trust and relationships."