Tom Broughton, editor

It was always an outrageous proposal in the first place. Brokers faced a six-figure increase in fees to pay directly for the inadequacies of the banking sector. The hike was to come in the form of an extortionate rise in fees paid to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme and to the Financial Ombudsman. Brokers with an income of over £20m were expected to swallow a hike of 70% as part of the FSA’s plan to raise an additional £100m over the next two years. Basically we were talking about an additional business tax to recoup money from the financial crisis paid for by a bulk of medium-sized businesses that had no involvement in its cause.

Meanwhile, it was revealed over the weekend that the regulator was preparing to secretly dish out up to £20m in bonus payments to its army of bureaucrats, who are arguably a little more culpable. And if that was not galling enough, remember it comes against a backdrop of scathing and sustained criticism, and following a Treasury select committee report which slammed the regulator for its “systematic failure of duty”.

So the news that the FSA is poised to back down from the crackpot regime following a lengthy consultation and angry insurance lobby is to be welcomed.

Until the next time then …

Make your way to IT’s crucial forums

The changing regulatory landscape and the impact of the global financial crisis one year on are the central themes at the second annual Insurance Times Forum. The event is be held at the Hilton Tower Bridge hotel on 15 October and key speakers include AIG UK chief executive Lex Baugh, AXA chief executive Phillipe Maso, Marsh chief executive Martin South, as well as a specialist panel on Solvency 2 and a keynote speech from the Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesman Vince Cable. To secure a delegate place and for more information visit

or email

There will also be a broker regulation panel at the inaugural Insurance Times Broker Forum on 2 July at Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall. Over 130 brokers have already signed up to attend and the day will feature an exclusive three-way interview between AXA’s Paul Meehan, Oval boss Phil Hodson and Chris Giles of Giles Insurance Brokers. There will also be a keynote speech from Swinton chairman Patrick Smith. For more information on the programme see