Biba chief tells annual conference to find market solution to latest FSA proposals.

Biba chief executive Eric Galbraith has called on the industry to fight back against encroaching regulation.

In his opening address at last week’s annual conference in Glasgow, Galbraith said the insurance sector was undervalued and over regulated. He called on delegates to work with Biba in developing a market solution to the FSA’s concerns about transparency in the commercial insurance market, and in commission disclosure.

He said that initial research among members had shown overwhelming support for a market solution, rather than more regulation. He said that any new rules would be an example of “the nanny state gone mad”.

The FSA is currently consulting the industry on three options for future regulation – new rules, stepped up enforcement of the current rules, or a market solution.

Galbraith said: “From my discussions with practitioners I get the sense that the market itself is keen to resolve the issue of transparency and disclosure once and for all and, frankly, I believe it is essential that we get closure on this subject.”

Biba also called on the government to make a financial commitment to continuous insurance enforcement and reduce uninsured driving. Galbraith accused the government of having been slow to draft regulation.

He said: “We have seen a great effort from the insurance industry in setting up the successful motor insurance database to crack down on uninsured driving, but eradicating this problem now requires a real commitment from government.

“The government has been dragging its feet on drafting new regulations which are desperately needed to help tackle uninsured driving in the UK. I am calling on [transport minister] Ruth Kelly and her team to do their utmost to set these regulations in motion at the earliest opportunity.”

Galbraith said that the Biba had developed its public profile, responding to twice as many government consultations this year as last year. But he added that there was still work to be done before the government and FSA accepted the value of advice in the insurance-buying process.