The big insurers are now setting out their stalls when it comes to compliance for brokers. In the past couple of weeks, Norwich Union (NU) unveiled its plans to provide a subsidised compliance service to its agents, through PricewaterhouseCoopers. And Zurich has been busy working on a package of measures, including free compliance health checks.

These moves can only be welcomed. There are many brokers who are crying out for assistance when it comes to unravelling the FSA's rules and applying them to their businesses. And while there is a myriad of consultants currently offering advice, the cost may be beyond the means of some.

A helping hand from insurers will help to ensure that more brokers will be ready to meet the regulatory requirements and continue trading in 2005. That is good for the industry and good for consumers. No doubt other insurers will be following suit.

This week, to contrast Grant Taylor's arguments against voluntary membership of the Financial Ombudsman Service (Insurance Times 23 Oct 2003), Mike Slack, of The Fyfe Group, explains why his group has chosen to join the scheme.

Also in this issue, consultant Geoff Boardman examines the implications of PS174 on the London market, and the FSA's Peter Cardinali talks about the regulatory reporting consultation document, CP197.

Michael Faulkner

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