And the mandarins are still not sure about regulating risk managers, says Andy Cook

Although official figures are not out until tomorrow, it wouldn't be a bad guess to reckon that 5,000 brokers registered with the FSA by Tuesday this week - the final deadline.

And that's from a total of 5,800 that registered an interest months ago. Of course, some will have sold up or become appointed representatives and a few will have missed the deadline.

Well if you have missed the deadline, never fear. One mandarin, well placed in the Canary Wharf headquarters of the FSA, told me that the FSA wouldn't be too strict on the stragglers.

It seems that this flexible approach has been fostered in response to the awful situation that risk managers find themselves in.

Last Tuesday passed without any word from the FSA about whether risk managers must be regulated or not. They said, "ask the Treasury". The Treasury, which was busy on comprehensive spending review business, was vague.

So it was with some relief that the FSA noted that it would not be too harsh in implementing, to the letter, the deadlines for applications.

"It doesn't take us six months to put the plans through and it is not as if there are thousands of them," said the FSA mandarin.

And what of local authorities? Surely they are exempt? Well risk managers in local authorities are worried now that the regs will include them too.

One risk manager explained that her council bought insurance for the local fire brigade and that this insurance was not part of its own portfolio.

She was concerned and not just about the fire brigade. She was also worried about health partnerships and a hundred and one other businesses that the local council buys insurance on the open market for.

Suddenly the picture is increasingly fuzzy. And let's not forget the problem of the 100,000 plus secondary insurance market.

This is a market where selling insurance often leads to problems - travel and warranty are the two most complained about products and are often sold by non-brokers.

It seems that tens of thousands of secondary brokers will carry on selling insurance without regulation until the FSA steps in. And unfortunately that may only be after complaints.