If John Jackson's views (Comment, 5 January) reflect the majority then I can only say the faster the FSA 'wades in' and as strongly as possible, the better it will be for those of us who are not mega brokers.

Jackson needs to get in touch with the grass roots. If you are a small broker the general insurance market is awash with bad practice and there is absolutely no resemblance to the sort of market that we have in what I would call the 'traditionally regulated' environment of investment business.

His views manifest what many small brokers consider to be the unacceptable face of insurance and I am not surprised that he thinks that Treating Customers Fairly is impertinent.

The investment market doesn't have restrictions or pressures on the amount of business placed by intermediaries - general insurance does. There is none of the arm twisting and arcane practices that are so common in the general sector.

As to claims, it is hardly surprising that there are problems in this wheel of misfortune. Most genuine claimants are made to feel guilty about submitting a claim at all and, although I deplore the practice, I am hardly surprised that some claims are boosted in order to make up what is invariably knocked down.

Having been regulated since the old Fimbra days I am more than well aware of the bureaucracy, intrusiveness, cost and sometimes sheer lunacy of the regulatory burden.

But there are instances across all branches of financial services where practices have not been all that they should be, and where regulation has been to the good.

In my opinion this is certainly the case with regard to general insurance where standards and the level of general competence leave a great deal to be desired.

Harry Katz
Norwest Consultants