Problems with the electronic application process are continuing to surface, despite the FSA's assurances that everything is in order.

One broker reported that his application form had become 'locked' in the system after incorrectly entering a zero in a box that should have been left blank. He was unable to re-enter the system to amend the form - and neither could the FSA.

This is clearly a serious flaw, and begs a number of questions. Is the broker able to start another application? And what happens to the form locked in the system? Will its existence taint a fresh application? It could lead to the paradox of the broker being authorised and unauthorised at the same time.

Yet in the face of this, and other problems, the FSA continues to say that the system is working fine.

The feeling among some is that the FSA is getting nervous about the electronic application process and is closing the shutters to questioners. One consultant, when asking for clarification on the problems, was effectively told to back off.

Reactions such as these will only serve to alienate the broking community. Hopefully the FSA will resolve these issues quickly.

Michael Faulkner