The FSA is stifling the entrepreneurial spirit of insurance companies and brokers, according to a leading management consultant.

Management advisory guru Anthony Morris of the Anthony Morris Group told delegates at the Bankhall conference in Monaco that the UK financial services industry was living in dark times.

"The environment for the adviser of any type of financial product is the worst for a very long time. The FSA has slowly beaten the entrepreneurial spirit out of the UK financial product market with constant intervening regulation," he said.

But Morris added that huge opportunities still remained "as survey after survey revealed that people need more individual advice". He said: "All the talk is about the future being online sales. But the broker, intermediary or IFA is not dead, far from it.

"In recent research 77% of people buying a financial product wanted face-to-face advice on what they were putting their money into. It is clear that a client advice relationship works based around trust and knowledge."

Morris added that over the next few years money would be passed from one generation to the next as 'baby boomers' pass away.

"Over the next five years opportunities are huge to grow your business as the next generation with the money will need more products, be they insurance, pensions or investments."