EU Directive delay caused date change, Treasury says

The FSA will not officially begin regulating the general insurance industry until 14 January 2005, according to the Treasury.

Treasury financial secretary Ruth Kelly said: "In light of the significant delay in publication of the EU insurance mediation directive, general insurance regulation will now come into force on 14 January 2005. This will allow sufficient time for the FSA and the insurance industry to prepare for this major change in regulation."

The Treasury confirmed that regulation of both mortgages and long term care insurance will come into effect on 31 October 2004.

GISC chief executive Chris Woodburn said: "Given the vast number of businesses that will be affected by statutory regulation, and the necessity for full and detailed consultation on numbers of key issues, it makes good sense to set a date that allows the maximum time for preparation.

"This is a judicious move that demonstrates both the Treasury and FSA recognise the enormity and complexity of the task ahead."

He reiterated that firms which joined GISC will qualify for due credit when applying for FSA authorisation.