With brokers' application forms being scrutinised by the FSA, many firms are wondering whether the regulator will pay them a visit before authorisation. Stories are circulating the market about what the FSA might do, such as visiting all brokers with a commission income of over £1m. Most are misconceived, grossly over-estimating FSA resources.

The reality is that the FSA will probably visit only a small number of firms. It is likely to ask questions over the phone or in writing if there are any concerns.

But the situation could be different for the Lloyd's broking community. As John Quigley argues this week, the FSA has a dedicated team to handle this section of the market and could manage many visits. One major Lloyd's broking house has already received a visit and others could follow. Be prepared.

Michael Faulkner

If you have received a 'minded to authorise' letter, email: