Two articles jumped out at me in a recent issue of Insurance Times. The first, "Biba anger at FSA..." (News, 15 June), and the second, the letter from Robert Starr: "How banks try to get business from brokers' clients." (Letters, 22 June)
While not directly related, it does beg the question: does the FSA know what it is doing or are insurers pulling their strings?
Being somewhat cynical, I think the answers are a definite 'no' and 'yes' respectively.
Having been in insurance broking for over 30 years, it is quite clear to me that the one area of the industry that does not need regulating is broking, as in most cases we know what we are doing.
But when it comes to direct writers and banks, they haven't got a clue about insurance. Take away their PC monitor with its scripted questions and they would be totally lost.
It is obvious to all that it is in the insurers' interest to reduce the regulatory information they need to provide to direct customers, so yet again they can undercut premiums offered direct as opposed to brokers. So just how much pressure has been placed on the FSA by them?
I suggested a number of years ago that there was a master plan to rid the industry of brokers and this is yet another step in achieving that goal.
The only problem is that, fortunately, many clients (although unfortunately not enough) do see and understand the benefits of dealing with a broker and, despite the many attempts to kill us off, we are still here and probably will be for many years to come.
It's about time insurers realised this and started working with us and not against us.
Name and address withheld