Broker network The General Network (TGN) has broken up indefinitely, blaming the continuing consolidation of the insurance industry.

But the company, which is part of the Greatminster group, said it may resume business when its market has stabilised.

A short statement from the Leeds-based company said recent mergers and acquisitions in the insurance industry had made it almost impossible for it to continue to serve its approximate 60 members consisting mainly of small personal lines intermediaries.

TGN was originally launched by insurance provider the Greatminster group in 1997. However, TGN's optimistic ambitions for its business have gradually been frustrated, as its market has changed almost beyond recognition.

As the statement from TGN confirms: "The profile of the ideal member for whom TGN was launched in 1997 and the facilities that they required from the outset are no longer available in their entirety. These are the underlying reasons that have influenced TGN's decision."

Martin Mann, group chairman of Greatminster, said: "The markets in which TGN was involved have been shrinking and there appears to be less demand for intermediary facilities."

Mann added that the departure of TGN's former chief executive Lloyd Hanks was a blow to the company and had been a factor in the decision to suspend its operations.

He said: "Lloyd Hanks' departure was an influence on our decision we either had to employ another director or decide where our future lay."

During his term, Hanks is believed to have set about reducing the number of firms in the network in a bid to boost the quality and service it provided. Delaying starting the General insurance Standards Council is also implicated in TGN's decision to stop working with brokers.

Mann said: "The replacement of the Insurance Brokers' Registration Council with stricter regulation and compliance procedures has yet to materialise and this has been an added factor in TGN's future strategy."

He added that four people had been made redundant as a result of TGN's difficulties.

Biba has been asked to accept TGN's members, and it has agreed, providing the intermediaries meet Biba's criteria, said Mike Williams chief executive of Biba.

Mike Slack, chairman of the Aiib, said: "TGN did not seem to become an identifiable and useful force for its members. It did not have a high profile in the market and therefore it did not achieve for its the members the same benefits for example in technology or in agency resourcing."

Rival network, the Broker Network, said it was sorry to hear of TGN's difficulties. However it doubted many of its members would have either the size or enough commercial businesss to join it.