A number of EU states face legal action for failing to implement the Insurance Mediation Directive (IMD).

The countries in the dock are Germany, Greece, France, Malta, Spain and Portugal. They have been referred to the European Court of Justice for not having written the Directive into their national law. The deadline for this was 15 January 2005 - a date which was met by the UK.

According to a statement from the EU Commission: "Germany, Greece and Portugal have all informed the commission that the legislative process is on-going, but not yet finalised.

France, Malta and Spain have all implemented some national measures, but have indicated that further legislation is needed."

Biba head of compliance and training Steve White said the move was a "momentous decision".

He added it would also bring a sense of justification for the FSA, which has been accused of "gold plating" or seeking to implement regulation beyond what other countries were doing.

"It is worth noting that we waited until the last legal moment before implementing the Directive, but we achieved it and London and the UK retain a reputation for probably being the best regulated in the world."

The Insurance Mediation Directive is part of the EU-wide financial services action plan.

It is designed to allow improved choice and reinforced protection to customers, while helping brokers market their services across borders.