The FSA has barred six small general insurance intermediaries from carrying regulated business after they failed to provide any data for their regulatory returns.

This is the first time the FSA has taken enforcement action against intermediaries for non-submission of the compulsory Retail Mediation Activities Return (RMAR)

The firms involved include Ascot Cars (Hants), Baycover Performance Cars and Motorcycles of Lowestoft, Suffolk and CV Southerden & Co of Slough.

The FSA introduced electronic reporting in April 2005 to "streamline the regulatory reporting process".

Jonathan Phelan, head of department at the FSA's enforcement division, said: "Regulatory reporting is essential to monitor firms effectively and to ensure fair and efficient markets. We give firms every chance to complete the RMAR on time and provide information, guidance and reminders of when the returns are due.

Phelan added: "Firms must take the submission of the RMAR seriously."

' Biba is writing to brokers asking them for their experiences of general insurance regulation. Steve White, Biba's regulation and compliance manager, said the responses would feed into Biba's submission to the FSA's review of the effectiveness of regulation.