I read with interest Nick Balcombe's article (27 July, Insurance Times), and found myself agreeing with much of what he had said in the early parts of the article: delays by insurers, delays in payments, these are all common problems.

My personal experience in claims consultancy work has been such that I have reached the conclusion that insurers have failed to fulfil their obligations under GISC.

Perhaps the FSA's bite will teach them to behave? However, as an individual who qualified as a chartered loss adjuster by examination in 1976, I must take up with him the unwarranted criticisms with which he closed his article.

It is pleasing to see that a former colleague, Heather Parkinson has already rejected his comments about the necessity of using national independent claims companies (12 August, Insurance Times).

Parkinson has also rebutted the suggestion that 'one man bands', are not qualified, have no professional indemnity cover, nor have FSA authorisation.

I am no longer in claims consultancy, as I am now employed in the compliance sphere and the question of training and competence is thus an important aspect of my work.

I am sure that professionally qualified individuals, who have achieved a nationally recognised standard such as ACII and or ACILA, and are subject to rigorous CPD requirements, will provide advice which is of equal or higher standard than some of the national independent claims companies.

My experience of assessors, built up from over 40 years in insurance, has been that the majority with whom I have had dealings have lacked any recognised professional qualifications.

Maybe the assessing world has changed dramatically over the past three years? Could the attack on the abilities of smaller firms be an attempt to cover up the lack of adequate competence and training in some national firms.

Are the attempts to denigrate the abilities of smaller claims advisers a result of the lack of such professional qualifications?

George Benson FCILAFSA's on the wrong platform

The FSA's bid to achieve a position alongside Sarbanes Oxley and IAS on the corporate governance radar has gone badly wrong - and it looks unlikely that any of today's regulations can be enforced.

The problem is the technology. The FSA has made a fundamental error by jumping on the XBRL bandwagon. XBRL, the XML based reporting standard from the US, is a good principle that seeks to standardise company performance indicators through consistent reporting definitions.

However, XBRL has been hi-jacked by nationalistic interpretations and in-fighting that have made it virtually unworkable.

As a result, the technology is unsupported by leading vendors, except on paper, and no other standards body has shown any real commitment to the concept. Indeed, with the development of the standard audit file, XBRL is in danger of being lapped off the starting line: without a doubt, the FSA has been sold a technology pup.

Yet the FSA is insisting, despite industry advice, that conformance to regulations will be based upon XBRL. Given the lack of software support that plan is simply unworkable.

So what now? Is there a way forward for FSA regulations?

Eduardo Loigorri
Managing director
Exchequer Software

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