Stuart Reid reckons most brokers have done all that can be asked of them

So we are finally regulated by the FSA. While it's a pity that we have been treated with a much heavier hand than the rest of Europe (with the notable exception of the travel and warranty sectors), the FSA has balanced a speedy response to what has been asked of it with, thankfully, a consultative approach.

However, most brokers are, despite being registered, in a situation that must give serious cause for concern both internally and externally.

Have you got risk transfer? Are you giving it? Do you understand the issue? Incredibly, Lloyd's has not even made its mind up yet.

Recent news includes FSA chief executive John Tiner heavily criticising (quite correctly) the London market for not issuing documents to clients, sometimes until after renewal. And New York attorney general Eliot Spitzer has been looking into alleged contingency commission deals undertaken by international brokers abroad.

Even the FSA itself has made front-page news having changed its mind and extended the deadline (if applications have been received) for a further 12 months.

So if:

  • You have been chasing insurers and Lloyd's to clarify whether you have risk transfer but in many cases remain none the wiser
  • You do all you can to get your client's documentation from insurers as quickly as possible and have never let the situation go on beyond the renewal date of the policy
  • You are not involved in the travel and warranty sectors that attract the most significant amounts of commission per pound, are sold by those in the main that have the tiniest knowledge of insurance, but obviously are in no need of regulation
  • You have not entered into contingency commission deals that Eliot Spitzer would have balked at
  • You have spent considerable time, effort and not a little money to get registered by 14 January 2005...
  • you might think you have been treated very unfairly recently - and I think you might have a case. IT

    ' Stuart Reid is managing director of Stuart Alexander