The FSA has now made its announcement on the due credit available to GISC and IIBRC members in the application process. But anyone who was expecting a detailed exposition of its meaning will have been disappointed. One expert said it was "as woolly as it can get" and that it "offered nothing to the majority of member firms".

At the end of the day GISC and IIBRC members will still need to be compliant and complete the same application form. It is not going to make it easier for them to become compliant: it merely recognises that they have already made progress towards this goal.

The biggest benefactor will be the FSA, since it can spend fewer resources on processing members' applications. And while this will speed up the time it takes for brokers to get a decision on their applications, the FSA will not say what this might mean.

To be safe brokers must assume that the 14 July 2004 cut-off date for perfect application remains. No real gains it seems.

Michael Faulkner