Risk managers seek advice over challenge to FSA regulation
Risk managers are preparing a legal challenge to the government over whether they should be regulated by the FSA.
Airmic director general David Gamble said that legal counsel had been instructed to advise on whether risk managers fell within the scope of the Insurance Mediation Directive (IMD).
The IMD is the same European directive that will see brokers regulated from January 2005.
"We have told the Treasury what we are doing," said Gamble.
He said he expected counsel to give its advice this week.
Gamble added that a smaller number of risk managers from large listed companies had decided not to apply for FSA regulation as they felt they did not need to.
One in eight risk managers have said their companies would move the risk management function abroad if the FSA regulates the risk management community. It is thought that risk managers will be caught by the regulations as they buy insurance "by way of business". Some risk managers also buy insurance in order to sell it on to sub-contractors.
It is understood that there is conflict over the position of risk managers between the FSA's policy department and legal department.
Insiders said that the policy department understood the risk managers' views and wanted to leave them outside the scope of the regulation. But sources said the legal department feared a flood of other groups demanding exclusions if the door was opened by risk managers.
The FSA has not published up-to-date statistics for broker registrations since 3 June. At that time 5,810 brokers had registered with the FSA and 4,160 had applied for authorisation.
An FSA spokesman said: "The figures have moved on [since June]. We continue to be encouraged by the engagement and response so far."
The spokesman said updated figures of how many brokers have applied for authorisation would be published on 13 July.