Youtravel.com has confirmed it is in talks with the Travel Trust Association (TTA) over the consortium’s bed bank trust fund proposal.

The TTA is working on a dedicated trust fund to protect both bed banks and agents in the event of a failure, following ABTA’s decision last month to force bed bank members to assume liability in the event of an agency failure. ABTA’s ruling has resulted in Thomas Cook-owned hotels4u.com and Medhotels, as well as youtravel.com, leaving ABTA.

Youtravel.com sales and marketing director Paul Riches said he would back the TTA initiative. “We have always said we are keen on a trust fund type of arrangement because it gives everyone protection. We’d be keen to engage in dialogue and support an initiative like that.

“We work with the TTA anyway and are aware of how they operate. We have been speaking to them about trying to find a solution to the issue.”

Under the scheme – which would be an alternative to ABTA membership – agents would send customers’ payment to the trust, where it would stay until the customer returns from holiday. After that, the TTA would release the money from the trust fund to the supplier.

“We are looking at how we can satisfy the consumer, the bed bank and the agent,” said TTA director Steve Clark. “This way, in the case of an agency failure, we can refund the bed bank, and, if the bed bank fails, we can refund the agent.”