AXA has issued an ultimatum to its brokers - apply for FSA authorisation by 13 July or have your AXA agency cancelled.
Last week the FSA said it would not be able to provide insurers with details of which brokers it has approved for authorisation until November.
Now, AXA has sent a form to all of its agents asking them if they intended to apply for FSA authorisation, and if so, by what date.
It then states: "If you apply after 13 July 2004 you will not be certain of being authorised in time and we will have to cancel your agency by January 2005".
Recently, head of policy and technical standards for the FSA's high street firms division, Eleanor Linton, said that to guarantee authorisation by the time regulation begins on applications would need to be submitted by13 July.
But Royal & SunAlliance (R&SA) has not taken similar action to AXA. R&SA FSMA programme director Blyth Morris said that it had not yet given up on obtaining information from the FSA about which brokers it would approve for authorisation before November. "We think that is an unreasonable date," he said. "We do not yet believe that November is the final date on this."
Blyth said R&SA would have further discussions with the FSA before formally canvassing its agents about their business intentions. "We're certainly not going to say that if a broker hasn't applied for authorisation by 13 July then we assume they do not want an agency," he said.
Norwich Union gave brokers a deadline of 31 December 2003 to indicate their intentions (Insurance Times, 7 August 2003), but it has not yet written to its agents asking about their plans.