Insurance heavyweights will have their first meeting with the Treasury and the Financial Services Authority (FSA) on 23 January to discuss the new regulation regime.

The meeting follows the Treasury's announcement last month that regulation of the insurance industry would be moved from the General Insurance Standards Council (GISC) to the FSA.

The transferral was prompted by the European Commission's directive on insurance mediation, due to come into force by 2004.

The mortgage industry will also come under FSA regulation.

Representatives from the Treasury, the FSA, the GISC, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) and the British Insurance Brokers' Association (Biba) have been invited to the meeting.

The Council of Mortgage Lenders and the Mortgage Code Compliance Board are also likely to attend.

An FSA spokesman said the informal meeting would be the first of "hundreds" over the coming two years.

"It'll be to review how to take forward the detailed implementation of the [regulatory] regime," he said.

Both the ABI and GISC said the first meeting was unlikely to be about technical issues.

ABI general insurance head John Parker said he expected a preliminary timetable for discussion to be set.

"Obviously this is not just to talk about insurance and mortgage regulation, but about how it will be structured and what it will cover,' he said.

He said it was vital any regulation was "proportionate" to the industry.

"There are a number of important differences between investment products and general insurance," he said.

"Buying a pension can be a complex business that most people don't do often, whereas you renew your motor insurance every year and it tends to be more familiar."

A GISC spokeswoman said the council expected "some sort of framework as to how we will work with the FSA".

"This meeting could provide ideas on how this framework may be structured," she said.

Institute of Insurance Brokers (IIB) director general Andrew Paddick, who opposed regulation by the GISC, vowed to be involved in any consultation with the industry.

"We'll want to be as helpful as possible, because they're going to need a lot of input," he said.