Improvements are need in business processes if the market is to improve its position on contract certainty, Atos Consulting has warned.

This week, the FSA announced that the London subscription market is currently achieving 90% contract certainty, with the non-subscription market attaining 88% certainty.

But achieving 100% certainty will be impossible without sddressing the long-term process inefficiencies which continue to exist in the market, according to the IT services company.

Atos Consulting has identified three key areas where improvements could be made:

• Metrics are urgently needed to survey current processes and compliance infrastructure to identify 'hotspots' leading to errors and rework. For instance, a Six Sigma review of repetitive data entry in firms with de-centralised data administration and a focus on joined-up process review between insurers and brokers could produce significant opportunities for better processes with lower costs.

• Improved information systems — the absence of good data which can be used to track recording errors in brokers' back offices, differences between insurer direct and broker-issued evidence of cover timeliness and insurer documentation issues are limiting progress in the non-subscription market. Late placements arising from a lack of information, long production chains and the buying strategy of clients or intermediaries will continue to prevent full compliance.

• Legacy policies — to achieve the ambitious targets of reducing legacy policies in aggregate to 40% by year-end 2007 relative to a baseline in mid 2006, brokers and underwriters need to undertake gap analyses and structure implementation workstreams for their own backlogs reflecting the Legacy Code of Practice prioritisation.