Is regulation a threat or an opportunity? Well, according to a recent survey by Deloitte Business Consulting (4 March, Insurance Times) brokers see it as it one of their greatest business opportunities.

It is not difficult to see why. For the broker with an eye for acquisitions, regulation has served up many potential purchases - and will continue to do so. Similarly, the networks are enjoying increased opportunities to recruit new members.

Going forward, the steps needed to become compliant will help brokers to improve their efficiency and protect their businesses.

Ultimately, regulation will help to raise consumer confidence in the industry - which can only be good for the industry itself.

Brokers should embrace regulation. Doing the bare minimum may make you compliant, but you can be certain that others will be doing more than that. They will be looking to glean maximum advantage from the compliance process, taking the opportunity to hone their systems and processes, and improve their training programmes.

Regulation provides brokers with the opportunity to create fitter, more customer-focused businesses. The long-term benefit of regulation should not be overshadowed by the short term issue of costs.

Michael Faulkner

To get your question answered by the FSA please email