GISC members will receive credit when they apply for authorisation by the FSA.

FSA insurance regulator John Tiner wrote to the GISC last Friday to congratulate the council on its regulation of the industry up to this point.

In the letter Tiner said that the GISC's work had played a key role in enhancing consumer protection and improving the industry's image with consumers.

He also confirmed that GISC membership would be good preparation for statutory regulation.

"We certainly expect membership of GISC to be a positive factor, that is that firms that have already satisfied GISC requirements will receive credit in the authorisation process."

Tiner said that this had moved the discussion of the `due credit' concept forward.

"We are now comfortable in saying that where firms have voluntarily committed to certain standards, it would be sensible to recognise this in the new regime.

"When the issue of due credit was first discussed, it was too early for us to comment on what it would mean in practice."