The moves to create a compliance consultants' forum is a positive first step. But it is essential that it does not become a mere talking shop. It needs to tackle the issue of the quality control of the compliance industry.

In the past couple of years there has been an explosion in the number of people offering their services as consultants, yet the competence of some of these so-called experts is questionable.

Horror stories abound of people with little or no knowledge of compliance selling their services to unsuspecting brokers. One such story involves a former underwriter who, having been made redundant, decided to set up a compliance consultancy.

Apocryphal or not, such tales demonstrate the difficulties that brokers face when choosing consultants - it may not be easy to determine whether the consultant is of sufficient calibre to provide expert advice.

The harm that such charlatans can do to an unsuspecting broker is immense. A poor quality consultant could lead to a broker failing to achieve authorisation.

The case for the quality control of compliance consultants is a powerful one, and the forum should not shirk from providing this.

Michael Faulkner