The implementation of the Insurance Mediation Directive across Europe (or lack of it) continues to provide amusement for Backchat.

When one insurance executive asked his European offices if their respective companies had implemented the Directive, the response was...well typically European.

He tells Backchat: "The German office said that they had not, but a two-man team had been set up in Frankfurt to study this issue. The French said that they had a pretty good system of regulation so that the Directive was low priority. Nevertheless they were examining it with a view to implementation shortly.

"The Belgians said they were not sure if the Directive applied to Belgium. The Dutch said they would probably do what the French did".

The executive then asked if the implementation would follow the British method, turning less than 20 pages into more than 1,000.

He says: "The Germans said that no doubt their team was studying the matter. The French asked if I was serious in suggesting that La France would adopt an Anglo Saxon approach. The Belgians wondered if I had heard their initial answer.

"The Dutch said they were following the French." Vive la union!