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Further concern over ‘back-door’ sign-up methods

Ramesh Sharma

June 1, 2004

Brokers have contacted MI following similar experiences with Network Data which had come under criticism. An intermediary questioned whether the network was trying a ‘back-door’ method of signing brokers up when he received a telephone call from Northern Rock advising him that Network Data had requested it to contact him to allocate a PIN number to allow him to submit business through it.

Another directly authorised broker sent MI a letter detailing how she had been contacted by Northern Rock and also Intelligent Finance with notification that she had been registered to submit business via Network Data. She said: “I have previously submitted general insurance business through Network Data prior to regulation but have not used it since.”

Network Data has vehemently denied using the so-called ‘back-door’ methods with managing director Richard Griffiths stating last week that his firm had ‘nothing to gain’ by requesting lenders to add brokers without their consent and would not risk relationships by engaging in the ‘dubious’ practice, suggesting it was a problem with the internal communications within the broker’s firm.

However, the latest broker to contact MI to complain said: “I spoke to Gillian Hurst, an area manager at the network, who informed me that it must just be registering anyone that is on its old database that did not apply to become a Network Data appointed representative.

“I suggest Richard Griffiths investigates the internal communication within his own firm before suggesting to the broker that they check whether it was another colleague who had registered them.”

Griffiths was unavailable for comment.


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