Charl Cronje says insurers could be forced to delay preparations.

Charl Cronje, insurance partner at consultants Lane Clark & Peacock LLP, has warned that the FSA's tough statements about the future of financial services regulation run the risk of causing insurers to delay their Solvency II preparations.

Cronje said: "Increasingly, Adair Turner's comments suggest a desire for the rules of financial services regulation to be substantially re-written. The Basel II banking solvency rules also face particular criticism, as some people look to blame regulators for the recent market failures. The FSA has applied a new ad hoc solvency test to banks as part of the UK government bailout and is also believed to have modified certain solvency requirements in private discussions with UK life assurers.

"However, these actions, and those being taken in other countries, cast uncertainty on the Solvency II process for insurers, which is currently being debated within Europe with the intention of issuing draft legislation in the next few months."

Cronje pointed out that the September banking crisis broke at around the same time as the FSA issued a major discussion paper on the implementation of Solvency II.

"It would be helpful to insurers if the FSA clarified its stance on Solvency II in the light of recent events. It would be a shame if the uncertainty resulted in UK insurers putting their Solvency II plans on hold," he added.