Brokers have been told not to fear the FSA's arrow visits and instead be proactive about meeting the needs of the regulator at such visits.

Trevor Newbery, partner at Grant Thornton, told an audience at the CII conference on general insurance: "Arrow visits warn brokers to control their businesses in a proper fashion and are not just a box-ticking exercise."

He added: "Don't just sit back - authorisation is the beginning, not the end of the process.

"You need evidence to prove what you are doing. Think in terms of if it isn't written down, it doesn't exist."

Newbery said during its visits the FSA will investigate whether the right people are doing the right jobs; correct processes are being used and look for proof that they work.

Newbery added: "Don't wait. Make sure you understand all aspects of your business and if you have a doubt tell the FSA. Even if you are a small operation in a place no one has heard of you will come under the FSA spotlight at some point."