Only five EU states compliant with Insurance Mediation Directive

Brokers and politicians have reacted angrily to the slow progress of other EU states in implementing the Insurance Mediation Directive, branding the FSA as "over the top".

Only five states, including the UK, have actually enforced the Directive by 15 January 2005, despite the EC's threat to slap hefty fines on countries that failed to do so, according to research by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Germany, France and Italy are among the states to have ignored the deadlines.
IIB director general Andrew Paddick said: "It was obvious that when the IMD was first introduced it would not be implemented equally across the EU.

"Typically, the UK went over the top and introduced FSA regulation involving massive layers of bureaucracy and cost."

France has yet to get beyond the draft implementation stage, while Italy has refused to pass a decree before May 2005.

Richard Spring, the Conservative MP responsible for the party's recent paper on deregulation, told Insurance Times: "Not only has the UK implemented the IMD when many other nations haven't, but we have gold-plated it beyond recognition.

"The UK government must simply refuse to implement EU Directives that are being ignored by other member states."

However, Biba head of regulation and compliance, Steve White, said: "As the biggest and best insurance market in the world, it is up to the UK to set a precedent for the rest of the world. IMD was necessary and has been relatively painless."