IFA and mortgage broking support services provider Bankhall has bought Total Broker Solutions (TBS) in a bid to enter the UK general insurance market.

The launch of Bankhall UK GI is planned for May 2005. It will offer compliance, technical and software support, as well as sales and marketing support, said the company.

Bankhall and TBS had initially met in October 2004, as revealed by Insurance Times. The purchase of TBS includes CBS, the small broker offering.

TBS chief executive Mike Williams becomes Bankhall's head of general insurance. TBS chairman and majority shareholder Bob Beckett, is a non-executive director.

Williams said TBS and CBS members are not obliged to sign up to Bankhall. "The idea is that all members will be interested and will honour their contracts," he said.

Bankhall commercial development director Shaun Godfrey said the decision to add a general insurance service to Bankhall's offerings was prompted by demand from existing IFA and mortgage broker members.

He said about 650 of its existing 5,000 members already transacted general insurance business.

Bankhall said it would not consider purchasing or taking stakes in members' businesses.