Here at Insurance Times, we’re rarely lost for words

But when brokers started sending us their FSA bills this week, for a few moments we were stumped. How do you describe a fees process that charges an entrepreneur running a small business £575 one year and £4,150 the next? Ludicrous? Outrageous? Preposterous?

Then chuck in the fact that, under the current model for the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), the rise is entirely due to brokers being forced to cover the cost of payment protection insurance mis-selling. What words are you left with now? Unfair? Illogical? Bizarre? Most brokers don’t even touch PPI – the misselling was largely by banks.

There is one small mercy, though it will be of scant comfort to those hit by spiralling bills this year. The FSA is reviewing the FSCS right now, and a consultation paper can be expected in November or December. It’s Biba’s top lobbying priority, too.

So whatever words you choose, now is the time to say what you think about the FSCS funding model, the FSA fees and the impact they have on your business. For once, words might translate into action.

Insurance Times will be following the review closely, and reporting the experiences and views of brokers hit by the new fees. Email and tell us your story. If the sector can stand together and shout loud enough, someone out there in Canary Wharf or Whitehall might just listen.

Maso’s A-list opportunity?

Imagine it: you’re Philippe Maso, you’re sat in the middle of swirling market speculation about your future role and that of your boss, your numbers aren’t looking great, and you know your company is on the verge of selling its life business – but you can’t breathe a word. Perhaps you too would have grabbed the opportunity this week to say several times, and in no uncertain terms, “I’m going nowhere and, no, I’m not selling Bluefin.”

And as you ponder your distribution strategy – consolidators: friend or foe? – you might begin to think that what looked like bad news when your commercial boss joined your biggest rival is beginning to look like a very big opportunity indeed. IT