Your recent story - "ABI lacks power to sway Europe" - (News, 16 June) may have created some misunderstanding about our recent lobbying efforts in Brussels.

The truth is that the insurance industry can point to a long list of instances where we have tried and succeeded in making a difference.

It is true, of course, that there is limited scope to influence the implementation of EU legislation once it has passed into law. And the legal judgments of the European Court of Justice on VAT, for instance, are final. Though we are now engaged in detailed consultations with Customs about the scope of this ruling.

Our approach is to be involved at the earliest possible stage in the development of EU thinking - in the Commission, Parliament and at UK Government level. Recent successes on the Gender Directive, Reinsurance Directive and Financial Services Action Plan demonstrate the real value of this activity to the industry and our customers .

Hugh Savill
Head of European and international affairs