GISC general manager Branko Bjelobaba is none too pleased with last week's Treasury announcement.

Economic secretary Ruth Kelly officially said the FSA would take charge of general insurance regulation on 14 January 2005, not October 2004 as first planned.

The delay in implementing the EU Insurance Mediation Directive has been blamed for the change of heart.

Bjelobaba had thought GISC's involvement in the industry regulatory regime would be over by October next year.

"I had my bags packed for Cyprus for October 2004 - now I'll be at home with the wife on Christmas Day 2004," he told delegates at the Mansion House seminar on regulation last week held at Dartmouth House.

The response? Rapturous and appreciative laughter from the floor.