FSA consults Instep about the impact of regulation on e-commerce

Software provides and users have finally been granted an audience with the FSA to discuss standards for new electronic products.

Dave John, chair of Instep's electronic trading practices committee, has met Andrew Watson, head of supervision at the high street firms division of the FSA, to discuss how the FSA regime would affect processing standards.

Instep oversees the development and maintenance of standards in e-commerce, particularly in personal lines.

The move follows calls from software houses, insurers and brokers for more open dialogue with the regulator. They are concerned about how the FSA regime will affect electronic trading.

Software providers also want to gain a better understanding of their role in the operation of regulation.

The meeting was described as "positive", and further regular meetings are to follow.

Instep was part of the ABI and is now part of Polaris. Its membership is made up of insurers, software houses and brokers.

John said: "Members have raised the issue of how the FSA regime will impact on processing standards.

"Most personal lines business is process driven and there is opportunity to establish systems to help brokers trade compliantly. It makes sense to give brokers as much help as possible."

A spokeswoman for the FSA said: "The FSA is working with Instep to clarify the new regime, including interpretation of the rules, to help the development of products. The FSA is not endorsing any products."