IIB director general Andrew Paddick said the UK insurance industry "desperately needs" an audited database of wholesale intermediaries.

He claimed IIB's Insurance Wholesaler Status Report service, announced last Monday, would protect brokers "hugely exposed" to unscrupulous wholesalers.

The service will include full independent on-site audits, documentation checks on binding authorities, and references from insurers, as
well as product reviews, with the costs of the audits paid by the wholesalers.

Paddick said some reports would be available within months.

Companies choosing to opt-out of the status report will be listed on the database as "declined to participate".

The move comes a month after the collapse of underwriting agency Tribune Risk & Insurance Services which left 40,000 policyholders without household cover.

"Brokers are walking through a minefield and they desperately need this service," said Paddick.