The RICS is seeking an alternative to a proposed move by the Financial Services Authority to regulate firms arranging insurance services in the property sector.
The RICS said that it was talking to the government about taking on the role of regulator for the thousands of chartered surveyors who provide insurance for their clients.

Louis Armstrong, RICS chief executive officer, said he had been in talks with the government. He said: "The Treasury wants to fulfil the government's 'light touch' pledge on regulation, and the RICS wants to avoid tying the property and construction sectors up in red tape, hurting small businesses and reducing choice and competition."

He said these two aims ought to be compatible and that he would continue to explore the regulatory alternatives to the FSA approach.

Under the proposed regulations, which come into force in January, any firm offering insurance advice or services will be in breach of the regulations if it has not registered with the FSA. This also affects firms that are working through regulated insurance intermediaries.