This year's Biba conference will be haunted by the spectre of regulation

As brokers face the unenviable task of identifying what the whole gamut of compliance issues means for their businesses, one message is clear, it doesn't make things easier (page 31).

Many justifiably feel this added bureaucracy will not help them do business with either customers or insurers.

Biba's Steve White says the FSA is starting to issue more guidance to firms and that Biba will be providing information to assist its members (page 37).

Stephen Bland puts the case for the FSA (page 41). His defence that the FSA has developed a general insurance regime that is proportionate and effective, should make interesting reading for any broker.

Greater use of technology is frequently cited as offering brokers the opportunity of dealing with regulatory issues in a more efficient, cost-effective way. But while this is the road brokers may well ultimately go down, the technology specialists have failed to convince brokers to make the journey (page 19).

And although Biba chief executive Eric Galbraith wants to encourage more younger brokers to this conference (page 8) some younger brokers are not even sure what Biba does (Page 13). Hardly a vote of confidence in Biba or Galbraith.

The ghost of regulation is likely to be an unwanted presence for brokers for some time to come.