Central Bank of Ireland launches informal consultation on Solvency II SPVs
On 2 September 2016, the Central Bank of Ireland (the CBI) published a consultation paper seeking feedback from certain stakeholders on Solvency II SPVs. The consultation paper poses questions on topics such as (a) multi-arrangement SPVs, (b) approval of Solvency II SPVs and (c) reporting requirements for Solvency II SPVs. As part of its review of Solvency II SPVs, the CBI will revise relevant requirements, guidance and checklists to ensure that they are fully aligned with Solvency II requirements. The CBI requested that feedback to be submitted by 16 September 2016. The CBI states in the Consultation Paper that a public consultation may be conducted before the end of 2016. The CBI also mentions that final guidance may be published in early 2017.
Central Bank of Ireland publishes Insurance Quarterly newsletter
On 13 September 2016, the Central Bank of Ireland (CBI) published the latest issue of its Insurance Quarterly newsletter. This notes that engagement with the Solvency II reporting process has been positive. It also provides updates on EU/EIOPA developments. Notably, it sets out summary details of the CBI's findings based on on-site inspections of low impact firms; which included that, in general, outsourcing agreements were not fully compliant with Solvency II rules.
Competition and Consumer Protection Commission investigation relating to motor insurance
On 13 September 2016, the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) announced on its website that it has commenced an investigation into the motor insurance market with a view to assessing compliance with competition law. This announcement confirms that the CCPC will be gathering/requiring information from motor insurance providers and industry groups to assist in its investigation.
Insurance Ireland and PwC – strategic report imminent
Insurance Europe recently announced that it will, in conjunction with PwC, publish its first annual Insurance Pulse Report on 30 September 2016. The Report will be launched at an event to be hosted at PwC's offices at One Spencer Dock; and is stated to draw on insights from CEO's of insurers to examine the disruption and transformation taking place in the insurance industry.
Central Bank of Ireland to host Industry briefing event
The CBI will host a briefing event for CEO's and senior executives of insurance undertakings, followed by a Q&A panel session, on 26 October 2016. Topics on the agenda for the event include (a) the insurance regulatory landscape and (b) reporting and analytics. Details on the registration process were sent to compliance officers of insurance undertakings in early September 2016. Queries relating to the event can be sent to email@example.com.
Insurance Ireland Fraud conference 2016
The fourth annual Insurance Ireland Fraud Conference will take place on 12 October 2016 in the Croke Park Convention Centre. Discussion topics on the day are set to include the collective combat of insurance fraud.
Central Bank of Ireland publishes Insurance Statistics for the year ended 31st December 2015
On 29 September 2016, the Central Bank of Ireland (CBI) published a data summary of the Life Assurance and Non-Life Insurance returns made to the CBI pursuant to the European Communities (Life Assurance) Framework Regulations 1994 and the European Communities (Non-Life Insurance Accounts) Regulations 1995 in respect of business written during the year-ended 31st December 2015.
PRIIPs KID – in the spotlight
On 1 September 2016, the European Parliament published a press release announcing that its Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee(ECON)had objected to draft Commission Delegated Regulation (C(2016) 3999)(the Draft CDR). The Draft CDRset out proposed regulatory technical standards (RTS) on key information documents(KIDs)for the Packaged Retail and Insurance-based Investment Products (PRIIPs).Concerns expressed included that the manner of presentation envisaged was misleading.On 14 September 2016, the draft CDR was rejected by the European Parliament; confirming ECON's view. The European Commission must now propose new RTS for the PRIIPs Regulation (which is due to come into force on 31 December 2016). On 14 September 2016, Insurance Europe welcomed this outcome. A number of EEA Member States have also jointly called on the European Commission to consider postponing the application date of the PRIIPs Regulation by 12 months to allow time for open questions to be clarified.
European Commission - Implementing Regulation on calculation of equity risk sub-module
On 10 September 2016, the European Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2016/1630 laying down implementing technical standards (ITS) with regard to the procedures for the application of the transitional measure for the equity risk sub-module in accordance with the Solvency II (the Implementing Regulation) was published in the Official Journal of the EU. It will enter into force on 30 September 2016. The draft ITS submitted by the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) to the European Commission following the publication of EIOPA's final report in November 2015 formed the basis of the Implementing Regulation.
EIOPA publishes monthly technical information
On 7 September 2016, EIOPA published technical information on (a) the symmetric adjustment of the equity capital charge, and (b) relevant risk free interest rate term structures, for Solvency II purposes; with reference to the end of August 2016 in both cases.
EIOPA speech on experience with Solvency II implementation
On 8 September 2016, EIOPA published a speech delivered by its Head of Regulations relating to implementation of Solvency II and challenges associated with that implementation. The speech also identifies key areas of focus for future implementation needs. These include (a) increased use of robust risk management capabilities to deal with economic challenges, (b) use of transitional measures to re-think business models and adopt innovative approaches to deal with the challenging macroeconomic environment and (c) increased dialogue between supervisors and industry.
EIOPA Chair provides overview of EIOPA's activities/focus to ECON
On 26 September 2016, EIOPA's Chairman outlined the current work of EIOPA to ECON. Key objectives highlighted included supervisory convergence (in particular, following the implementation of Solvency II), consumer protection and financial stability. Notably, he also suggested that refinement to the governance structure of EIOPA would be necessary to allow EIOPA to fulfil its supervisory convergence mandate and that the legislation establishing EIOPA should include a clearer mandate to ensure common supervisory culture and practice.
EIOPA Q&A on Solvency II regulation
On 1 September 2016, EIOPA published new sets of questions and answers relating to (a) guidelines on recognition and valuation of assets and liabilities other than technical provisions, (b) final report on the ITS on the templates for the submission of information to the supervisory authorities, (c) guidelines on reporting for financial stability purposes.
Support for EU/US bilateral (re)insurance agreement reiterated
On 21 September 2016, Insurance Europe published a statement reiterating its support for a proposed EU/US bilateral (re)insurance agreement and a swift conclusion to the negotiations (noting, in particular, that the current US statutory collateral requirements are discriminatory to European insurers). On 20 September 2016, the American Council of Life Insurers, Insurance Europe, the reinsurance Association of America and the American Insurance Association issued a joint statement restating their continued support for a bilateral agreement.
EIOPA launches online survey seeking input for guidelines on IBIPs
On 5 September 2016, the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) launched an online survey seeking input from stakeholders on the scope of the guidelines for the assessment of insurance based investment products (IBIPs) and the type of IBIPs that might be relevant under the Insurance Distribution Directive (IDD). The closing date for providing input for the survey was 25 September 2016 and the deadline for the publication of the final Guidelines is 23 August 2017 and until this, EIOPA will continue to involvestakeholders at various stages during the development of the Guidelines.
Insurance Europe launches digitalisation showcase
On 16 September 2016, Insurance Europe launched a dedicated online showcase outlining various ways in which Europe’s insurers are embracing digitalisation. The showcase explains how digitalisation is bringing benefits by (a) helping determine what kind of insurance is sold, (b) in detecting and tackling fraud and (c) helping insurers keep their customers’ data secure. The showcase also outlines specific examples of how digitalisation is affecting a range of other important issues, including: (a) insurance distribution, (b) different product lines, such as motor, property and health insurance, (c) data protection and privacy, and (d) cyber risks.
Insurance Europe responds to OECD consultation on Additional Guidance on the Attribution of Profits to Permanent Establishments
On 1 September 2016, Insurance Europe published a position paper in response to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD) consultation on proposed rules for the attribution of profits to permanent establishments (the PE Rules). Insurance Europe specified the following as its main concerns with the proposed PE Rules (1) for some insurance business models, PEs would be recognised for tax but not for regulatory purposes (2) the OECD consultation fails to propose a solution for situations where the profits attributed to the PE would be nil, which would avoid a disproportionate compliance burden for insurers. Insurance Europe added that only the presence of Key Entrepreneurial Risk-Taking functions in a jurisdiction should create a PE for tax purposes and be relevant for the attribution of profits.
Insurance Europe responds to ESMA proposal regarding clearing obligations for financial counterparties with a limited volume of activity
On 5 September 2016, Insurance Europe issued a press release welcoming a European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) consultation wherein ESMA proposed delaying the implementation of clearing obligations for financial counterparties with a limited volume of activity by two years. Insurance Europe highlighted that some of the requirements of the European Market Infrastructure Regulation create disproportionate obligations on smaller counterparties and counterparties with limited derivatives activities. Insurance Europe argues that such counterparties would benefit from the proposed later implementation of the clearing requirements.