Admiral moots ABS move in wake of referral fee ban

FTSE100 insurer Admiral is considering a move into the legal sector following the ban on personal injury referral fees by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) earlier this year.

The Cardiff-based insurer’s shares dropped by more than 4 per cent as investors recoiled following the MoJ’s outright ban (9 September 2011), which is expected to come into force next year. Currently, around 5.6 per cent of Admiral’s profits derive from referral fees.

It is understood that the insurer is looking at establishing an umbrella personal injury firm or becoming a majority investor in one.

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) will begin to accept applications for ABSs in January (1 December 2011).

A spokesperson for Admiral declined to comment on the plans.