The rush to submit an FSA application form in time to ensure authorisation by 14 January 2005 is now over. But brokers are unaware that they have less than three months to comply with regulations on the sale of insurance over the telephone and internet. On 9 October the regulations implementing the EU's Distance Marketing Directive (DMD) will come into force. But there is confusion over the terms of the regulation and which government agency will enforce it. Topaz Insurance Brokers owner Richard Mikula said: "The DMD is not something that has ever crossed my desk. I have been too involved with GISC and the FSA."The DMD relates to the 'distance' sale of insurance and other financial services products. This includes sales over the internet or telephone. It requires firms to provide customers with certain information prior to the conclusion of the contract, such as the main conditions of the policy.From 14 January 2005, the DMD will be implemented in the FSA's conduct of business rules (ICOB). Prior to that date, from the 9 October, the DMD will be implemented by Treasury regulations. The Treasury published a consultation paper in July 2003, but as yet no final regulations have been published. When Insurance Times went to press the Treasury was unable to comment on the regulation.
One in ten brokers to exitOne in ten brokers will exit the industry after failing to authorise within the FSA deadline this week. Though the FSA will not publish the official figures of those intermediaries who have submitted applications until Friday, a straw poll of the major insurers showed a large number of brokers would leave the market.AXA said that by the end of June, 29% of its agencies had failed to notify the insurer as to whether they had applied or were carrying on. AXA commercial and intermediary lines director Mark Cliff said: "The picture is still very unclear and we are worried that some brokers have left it to the last minute. "At the end of June, 7% were exiting, though I imagine that has risen to around 14%."Cliff added that of the remainder, 7% had shown AXA the 'minded to authorise' letter, while 57% had said in June they were intending to apply or were in the process of applying. Allianz Cornhill said it had been notified by 8% of its brokers who said they would not apply. At the end of June, 36% had applied and 47% intended to apply. A small number of agencies had also been cancelled, said an Allianz Cornhill spokeswoman.