The lack of awareness of the forthcoming FSA regime among the secondary intermediary market is not something that brokers can ignore. To do so would be dangerous and puts the broker at risk of criminal prosecution.

Brokers need to ensure that any secondary intermediaries - or other business partners - they deal with are FSA authorised if need be. Dealing with an unauthorised business could be a criminal offence.

And it is not just the business partner that the broker deals with directly that should be checked. As Alex Peterkin discusses this week, brokers need to consider all the intermediaries in the chain. If it transpires that a business partner will not become authorised when it has to, brokers will need to consider their plans for ceasing their business relationship. But as Steve White explains, developing an exit strategy is something that needs to be done well before January 2005.

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