It didn't spoil the Association of British Insurers' annual dinner, but the Insurance Brokers Registration Council's decision to continue as a private limited company after the Act that created it has been repealed may have turned the mushroom consommé a little sour.

The news confirms that there will, for sure, be two competing regulatory regimes for UK general insurance selling. And they will be very different.

The first thing to say is that it is hardly surprising. Brokers who have stayed with the IBRC have done so voluntarily ever since the flaw in the Act's wording was spotted and Uncle Tom Cobbly and all became insurance "consultants" and "intermediaries". They were not going to give that up without a fight.

The movers behind GISC knew that. But, depending on whom you believe, either they could not do anything to win over those brokers, or they chose not to. At the moment, the GISC proposals fail to distinguish between a professionally trained and qualified independent adviser and a supermarket checkout Saturday jobber.

ABI chairman Sandy Leitch made no apology for this. The less regulation, he told diners, the better.

But insurers have little to fear from a proper regulatory regime that differentiates between types of sellers but regulates them all. Neither system on offer currently does that.

Consumers can buy pensions direct, through banks, or from a range of outlets including independent financial advisers. Competition between channels still exists.

In surveys that gauge public perception of various professions, insurers are down there with estate agents (just above journalists). A single, balanced regulatory regime that identifies the choice between different types of seller will tackle that problem. It is in all our interests.