When Howard Davies announced last week that he would be quitting his job as chief executive of the FSA, furious speculation started about his successor.

Among the names touted as Davies' successor is, unsurprisingly, FSA managing director John Tiner.

Although some commentators suggested that Tiner's Andersen's past might hinder his progress, the smart money says that he is right up there.

This is bad news for the general insurance industry.

A few months ago, a promotion for Tiner would not have been a big problem. He had an able assistant in Sarah Wilson and someone brokers and insurers respected. But she's gone on maternity leave.

This throws up the prospect of someone having to come in cold to a job that is just about to become red-hot.

With a consultation paper out and another two to follow, a promotion for Tiner could be bad news for the industry.

It is understood that Tiner is interested in the job. The good news is that he is only second favourite.