Travel agents are opting for FSA regulation as its trade body, Abta, sruggles with self-regulation.

Take-up of the mandatory exams is understood to be slow and a number of large travel agents have expressed anger over having to pay for the exams.

There have also been complaints from travel agents that the exam system was in disorder.

AIG travel manager Jonathan Cooper said:

"It doesn't add up that one sector avoids regulation when everyone else has it.

"Some agents are already becoming [FSA] authorised and have said it was not a big deal as some people think."