Solvency II News: Barnier responds to EIOPA’s concerns on Solvency II delays

Commissioner Barnier wrote to EIOPA asking that it help maintain the progress of Solvency II preparations despite current setbacks. In the letter, obtained by Solvency II Wire, Mr Barnier said, “Both the insurance industry and supervisory authorities have invested significant resources preparing for the start of Solvency II. We must ensure that momentum is not lost and that good preparedness is rewarded.” Last month Gabriel Bernardino, Chair, EIOPA, wrote to the commission expressing concerns about the delays to the implementation of Solvency II.

In his letter dated 8 November 2012, Mr Barnier asked EIOPA to come forward with a list of best practices (in the form of opinions) that will ensure a common level of preparation both of national supervisors and firms. “This is of particular relevance in the area of internal models where EIOPA should aim to ensure a consistent approach of supervisory authorities to the approvals (and pre-approvals) of internal models.” Mr Barnier rejected the idea of making some parts of Solvency II legally enforceable before others on the basis that the legal process would take too long. Instead he supported EIOPA’s role in making sure partial implementation was consistent under the current framework. “In doing this, I would ask that EIOPA specifically focuses on a speedy implementation of some of the qualitative (Pillar II) aspects of the Solvency II framework, such as effective system of governance and risk-management system. Similarly, EIOPA should continue in its work of developing common reporting formats and templates.” While Mr Barnier agreed that Solvency II was urgently needed, he also stressed the need for testing the effect of some aspects of the regulation, namely long-term guarantees. “Unprecedented market conditions and continuing market instability mean that the European institutions must carefully evaluate the measures proposed for insurance products with long-term guarantees to ensure that possible negative consequences for the real economy are avoided. This is all the more important given that Solvency II will radically overhaul regulation in the insurance sector.” Finally Mr Barnier thanked EIOPA for the work they are doing on the impact assessment on long-term guarantees. “I do not need to stress to you the importance of this work and the need for clearly presented results which will allow the Commission to produce a comprehensive report on which trilogue parties can base their final Omnibus II discussions.”

Images from EIOPA Conference 2012

More images available on the Solvency II Wire flickr account. [caption id="attachment_62984" align="alignleft" width="150"]Gabriel Bernardino - EIOPA Conference 2012 Gabriel Bernardino – EIOPA Conference 2012[/caption] [caption id="attachment_62988" align="alignleft" width="150"]Karel van Hulle - EIOPA Conference 2012 Karel van Hulle – EIOPA Conference 2012[/caption] [caption id="attachment_62985" align="alignleft" width="150"]Carlos Montalvo - EIOPA Conference 2012 Carlos Montalvo – EIOPA Conference 2012[/caption] [caption id="attachment_62986" align="alignleft" width="150"]Session 3 - EIOPA Conference 2012 Session 3 – EIOPA Conference 2012[/caption]]]>