The panel
Colin Calder, head of broker development, AXA
Michael Dawson, deputy chairman, The Broker Network
Robin Wood, RW Associates
Alex Peterkin, Deloitte & Touche

Colin Calder: The FSA is in a time squeeze. Delays don't help. This is the busiest time of the year. Everyone is working hard on their

1 January renewals, and getting reports and accounts in order. Then we have Christmas. And after that 31 January, which still stands as a Treasury deadline. It's not far away.

Michael Dawson: We have organised regional meetings that cover 80%-90% of our members. We wanted to discuss the FSA paper, but it simply has not been possible. It was a great opportunity. But the FSA missed its end of December deadline.

Alex Peterkin: People are in danger of making decisions in a vacuum.

Robin Wood: We cannot wait any longer. From our compliance visits, we know that it takes three to six months for firms to set their own competency benchmarks. It takes people time to find out where they are and what they don't know. We are starting to find that companies have been spending tens of thousands of pounds on training schemes and lots of them are not very good or not suitable. You have to know what your training requirements are before you start training.

Calder: The UK commercial plc will be fundamentally harmed if we don't get this regulation right.

Dawson: I am concerned about whether the regulations will be one size fits all. Selling a travel policy for two weeks or a warranty, to which caveat emptor applies, is different to someone placing a surplus lines treaty for the World Trade Centre or whatever.

Calder: I'm worried about indemnity. Why we should be protecting the company secretaries or finance director who needs to manage his risks? He can choose a broker to help him. There is normal commercial risk. Should the broker take all of that on?

Wood: Lawyers are really looking at brokers for their PI exposures. They are going round looking for the claims. Lawyers see this as their next growth market.

Calder: The FSA is talking of online compliance, and there are some issues with this. Motor insurers' capture of online data is now under scrutiny under data protection rules. It can't insist on online form filling, there must be a parallel process.

Dawson: Getting people to change behaviour is very difficult and current behaviour is about filling in paper forms. If the only way of doing it is online, you will get a sub-industry of people who do data loading for you. The cost will come back to us and there could be a legal challenge mounted around restraint of trade.

Peterkin: From a regulatory point of view it has to be the way to go because, if everyone sends it in manually, you will end up paying a fortune in costs, as the FSA will have to include a charge for data keying.

Calder: Authorisation is another issue that keeps raising its head. We will not take responsibility. We will help intermediaries take responsibility for themselves.

Wood: For complex products, it is unlikely that anyone other than brokers will take responsibility. But, for simple personal lines products, it is not inconceivable that some insurers will take responsibility. You could have a complex policy with some sort of kitemarking element - controlled by underwriters.

Calder: Why should banks and building societies that are bigger than us be handing back responsibility to us?

Dawson: Tesco and Sainsbury's will have a simple calculation. What is the margin we can make and how much will it take for us to comply. Whatever the regulatory regime, Tesco and the rest will continue to sell it.

Calder: Customers seem relatively uninterested in commission. Regulators seem to worry far more about it.

Dawson: Disclosing earnings will change the structure of the market. Most purchasers are interested in what they pay, not how it is made up.

Peterkin: Over-riders and profit share arrangements should be disclosed. This is something that the public is not aware of. They are not necessarily wrong. But the regulator has an issue.