The FSA's interest in reforming supervisory practices is belated and may not be appropriate

I know times are difficult but having to pay the postage to receive a letter from the FSA seems the last straw. I received a recent communication from the Authority which had left its building without a stamp or contact with a franking machine. What's more, it was inviting me to a presentation on reforming supervisory practices which had taken place five days before the invitation arrived.

On a serious note, I was more alarmed that the invitation was to listen to a speech from Hector Sants on the future of supervision. This is a matter very close to the heart of Biba and its members, as we have long maintained that the insurance intermediary sector was shoehorned into the FSA regime back in 2005 and has been subsequently exposed to a style of supervision that is both inappropriate and disproportionate.

We have engaged with Treasury on this very matter and Treasury has challenged us to better articulate what more appropriate and more proportionate supervision might look like. We are activity engaged with consultants and members on this subject.

To date the FSA has not engaged with our sector to any great degree on these fundamentally important issues and we are therefore concerned that the FSA may be in the process of rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic rather than asking the fundamentally question of whether the Titanic is on the right course, going at the right speed or even if it is the right vessel. Biba is actively involved in those discussions with Treasury on these issues and it remains our key issue for 2011.

Eric Galbraith is chief executive of Biba.