TBS denies rumours of a sale, as sources report the company is in talks with Bankhall

Chairman and major shareholder of Total Broker Solutions (TBS), Bob Beckett, has denied the company is in talks with other networks about a potential sale or merger.

But high level sources said that TBS was in "ongoing" discussions with Bankhall Investment Associates, a network operator specialising in solutions for independent financial advisers.

One source said: "TBS has had exploratory meetings with Bankhall, but so far nothing has come of it. The reaction from TBS was said to be less than positive."

Last month, Insurance Times reported that Bankhall wanted to grow its general insurance offering. At the time, Bankhall group sales director Shaun Godfrey said the proposition had already attracted in excess of 250 general insurance brokers.

Godfrey, who heads up the general insurance business, was not available for comment when Insurance Times went to press.

Sources said that other network operators, including the Willis Commercial Network, were also interested in starting talks with TBS.

In July, Insurance Times reported claims from sources that TBS would need refinancing to survive beyond September.

Sources said that while additional funding had been put in, it was only enough to see the company through until the end of 2004.

But Beckett said he was "very pleased" with the way TBS was developing. "Its financial position holds no qualms for its major investor," he said.

In July, TBS chief executive Mike Williams said that both the TBS network and Community Brokers Solutions (CBS), its proposition for smaller brokers, had each attracted 30 members.

But Beckett declined to reveal current membership numbers, saying that the company had taken a decision not to discuss member numbers or names.