June 9 2004. Forthright Motorcycle Finance, is offering help and information to its dealerships regarding the new FSA regulations coming into place for general insurance sales.

The regulations come into place on 14th January 2005 after introduction by the Financial Standards Authority. It will mean that any firm engaging in general insurance activities will legally have to be authorised by the FSA, or indirectly appointed as a representative of a fully authorised firm. These general insurance activities can include proposing, advising, concluding or assisting in administration of insurance contracts.

It will be an offence after 14th January 2005 for any unauthorised firm to engage in any regulated general insurance activities. There is no compulsion to become authorised and regulated but if dealerships opt out of authorisation their business could be affected in a number of ways. For example, they could lose their general insurance income gained from these sales which could be fairly substantial, it could also affect the volume of motorcycle sales and they could lose business to competitors who are authorised.

The enormous benefit for consumers is that they will be assured that, when considering insurance options, they are dealing with an authorised, reputable dealership, and buying products that are ideally suited for them.

Each motorcycle dealership has up until the end of May this year to receive a discount on their application fee to the FSA in order to become authorised. All applications must be received by 13th July 2004. Any firm whose application is still pending by the date that the regulation comes into force, will have to cease all regulated general insurance activities until approval has been granted by the FSA.

The good news is that help is available. Forthright Motorcycle Finance can offer training to dealerships to assist in developing staff to meet with the minimum training and competency requirements of this regulation.

A training programme is available provided by The Insurance Training Consortium (ITC). This has been accredited for a Quality Assured Award from both The Institute of the Motor Industry (I.M.I) and City and Guilds. The programme, which can also be completed in conjunction with formal assessment days, can help in ensuring that staff have all the knowledge and skills they need to remain compliant.

Director of Motorcycles for Forthright Motorcycle Finance, Jonathan Mitchell, commented: "These new regulations will create a change in the industry and impact on each of our dealerships. Our training programme will assist dealers and personnel in meeting the minimum FSA standards and will mean that dealers can continue to offer insurance products. We hope that this once again demonstrates continued commitment to our dealerships and gives each of them maximum opportunities for the future."