It's a big week as I speak to Jack Straw, spend a day at Henley and even scoop an award


A nervous start to the week as the insurance press gathers at the Marsh building to find out the results of the annual Biba press awards. But it’s worth it: I leave with the feature writer of the year award while my colleague Danny Walkinshaw receives the digital journalist of the year prize and is highly commended in the best profile category.


It’s an early start at Lloyd’s to hear the latest on the (slowly) unfolding nightmare that is Solvency II. Back in the office, it’s announcements day at the Treasury, with new moves on foreign companies’ profits and the ECJ ruling. Then I go off to Henley-on-Thames for the annual regatta – my first trip, courtesy of SSP. One of our hosts comments that it’s like the biggest school sports day ever.


I speak to former justice secretary Jack Straw about his referral fee crusade. Fittingly for the architect of Labour’s crackdown on anti-social behaviour, he was very courteous, referring to yours truly as Mr Blackman throughout.


The latest news on Solvency II is in: European insurance regulator Eiopa pronounces the results of its latest stress test and 10% of insurers have insufficient capital to comply with the directive in the event of a macro-economic meltdown. Here’s hoping it doesn’t happen.


I spot, buried in the guts of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme’s annual report, another huge increase in the number of PPI claims. It’s clearly time to ramp up our Fair Fees campaign again.