On 25 October, Insurance Times led the front page with a story headlined: "Back the GISC or face the FSA." Well, it seems the FSA has lost patience with the industry and has declared its intention of regulating brokers.

Some initial reaction has been bitter. Brokers are worried that all the time, effort and expense of joining GISC will be wasted. Smaller brokers who have been biding their time may well look for buyers, as compliance effort and cost may be seen as too onerous.

Many more will be put off by the prospect of having to declare commission rates.

But the future is not as bleak as some would paint it. Compulsory regulation means the end of cowboy brokers. The image of brokers will rise. And not before time.

And life under the FSA may not be as bad as once feared. The days of nitpicking and over-zealousness will be history if you believe Tiner, Davies et al.

They talk of risk-based approaches, not prescriptive solutions.

The talk, and that is all it is at the moment, sits happily with GISC's strategy.

Even if GISC does not survives in its current form, the spirit will linger. And those who have been through the GISC will have an advantage.

But what of Andrew Paddick? He's a survivor and the industry should try to woo him into its fold. We may need a dogged fighter to make sure the new regime doesn't overburden us.

Merry Christmas and a happy New Year to you all.