I am not opposed to regulation, but I am opposed to seeing my industry being changed forever by a European Directive that we all know the majority of Europeans will only be paying lip service to.

Time is running out for us to respond to the more contentious points of the consultation papers.

But what if we all said no - think about it. If every insurance business from the small sole trader to the large composites stood up to the FSA and said no, what would happen?

First, the economy would come to a standstill in January 2005. No employers could trade without employers' liability (EL) cover, as no one would be authorised to transact general insurance. No one could use their car without insurance. Councils would close all public buildings and public transport would be grounded. Would European insurers step in? Unlikely. It is doubtful the Europeans would meet the IMD requirements (as with every EU Directive it is only us that follows them to the letter) let alone meet the FSA requirements that they seem so proud to exceed in certain areas.

So what if we all said no? The country would be on its knees and I rather think people would take insurance a little more seriously then. No, I'm not about to hold the country to ransom (but it's an interesting thought - I bet we never realised what power we had), but I don't wish to see our great industry changed forever for the worse.

How many small brokers would be lost - hundreds if not, thousands. Such brokers are the human face of insurance to our insurance buying public.

No new small brokers would be flooding in to replace them after January 2005.

Regulation of our industry, yes. But desecration of our industry by a European Directive that does not understand our industry and will not fully impose these restraints on our European friends, no.

Time is running out, If we don't all say no, at least respond to the consultation papers. Use the FSA website, it's easy to make your concerns heard - do it today.

Trevor M Palmer
Palmer Business Insurance Consultants