A meeting between the major bed banks and ABTA last Thursday (December 3) over who should be liable for customers’ cash when an agent fails has been described by the association as “very useful and profitable”.

An ABTA spokeswoman said: “A number of options such as insurance and trust funds were discussed.

“A date has not been set for the next meeting, but the discussions will be ongoing.”

The meeting was attended by representatives from youtravel.com, hotels4u.com, somewhere2stay.com and hotelbeds.com.

It follows a series of high-profile departures from the association by companies angered by ABTA’s ruling that bed banks should be liable for customers’ cash if a travel agent goes under, even if they have not received payment.

At the end of November the Travel Trust Association revealed it is working on an alterative to ABTA with a proposal to launch a trust fund to protect both bed banks and agents in the event of a failure.