How effective the GISC regulatory regime becomes is, according to some of its supporters, up to you. Mike Williams at Biba has made it clear he will fight for improvements and Mike Slack at the AIIB says he expects changes. Insurers, such as RSA, are concerned that standards may be too low and could damage the industry in the same way the pensions mis-selling fiasco damaged reputations. There are a lot of voices quavering with concern.
These need to be harnessed into a force to be reckoned with. Deeds, not words, will win the day.
So Tesco, which will sell more insurance than many independent intermediaries, will not be subject to the same rules. It will not have to separate its insurance funds nor reveal commission. The costs of forcing such a change on the retailer would be prohibitive. In fact, it would probably have to stop selling insurance.
Unfair, yes, but a fact of life. Insurers and retailers are not going to force even standards across the industry if it closes down a popular sales avenue. Consumers too will want a choice about where they can buy their insurance.
But if independent intermediaries are going to be regulated in a tougher way, then surely that can be recognised through the GISC regime?
Restaurants gather Michelin stars, hotels gather stars from the AA and even bed & breakfasts have crowns from their local tourist boards. Surely a similar set of standards, for argument sake we'll says stars, could be introduced to differentiate between those insurance sellers regulated in different ways. It's food for thought.
A seller who is effectively regulated by the insurer, subject to compliance visits that were few and far between and not forced to separate funds or declare commission, would be one star firm. An insurer's direct arm, subject to more frequent compliance visits might be two star firm. And the fully independent broker might be a three-star firm.
That might be a start, at least.