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Competition decision ends dual rule threat

Intermediaries will not be forced to join the General Insurance Standards Council after the Competition Commission ruled such a move breached the Competition Act.

The Competition Commission Appeal Tribunal decided the regulator&#39s rule F42, making all brokers and intermediaries doing any general insurance business become members breaches the Competition Act 1998.

The move is welcomed by the Aifa as it ends the pressure on IFAs to be regulated by both the GISC and the PIA if any of their business was general insurance, even if sold with a PIA-regulated product.

The Institute of Insurance Brokers says firms which joined under duress should be given their membership fees back and leave.

The decision has been estimated by the Institute of Insurance Brokers to have cost the GISC £250,000.

Aifa says the decision is good news for IFAs, saying the GISC should not be looking at IFA-related issues but focus on general insurance.

The CCAT&#39s ruling came after an appeal from the IIB and the Association of British Travel Agents, claiming the Office of Fair Trading was wrong in its decision this year that the GISC rules did not breach the act.

Aifa director general Paul Smee says: “I hope the GISC now pauses for thought. It should be looking at areas totally divorced from IFAs and focus on businesses who insure things not lives.”

GISC chief executive Chris Woodburn says: “We will give careful consideration to the CCAT decision, particularly in the context of how effective regulation is to be achieved across the industry.”

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