Category Archives: UK

Complex reporting caused by Solvency II risks putting investors off insurance sector

LONDON, Tuesday 25 April, 2017 — The insurance sector is at risk of being further marginalised by investors as performance reporting becomes more complicated as a result of Solvency II, according to a report published jointly by Autonomous Research and Willis Towers Watson. Based on the analysis of the reporting statements of 31 European insurers, the report finds Solvency II has forced apart the sector’s accounting and solvency reporting, making it harder for investors to have a clear picture of how individual insurers are performing.

The report finds that Solvency II falls significantly short as a profit performance and cash generation metric that can replace embedded value (EV). The urgency of this issue is further underlined by the rapidly shrinking publication of useful EV data in Europe and the fact that the reformation of IFRS (new proposals expected to be published in May) is unlikely to help for many years. Continue reading Complex reporting caused by Solvency II risks putting investors off insurance sector

EIOPA proposes amendments to the adopted Solvency II Technical Standards on Reporting and Disclosure

The European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) has identified some required amendments to the Implementing Technical Standard on the templates for the submission of information to the supervisory authorities (ITS on Reporting) and in the Implementing Technical Standard with regard to the procedures, formats and templates of the solvency and financial condition report (ITS on Disclosure).
As a result, these amendments concern the Implementing Technical Standards, the Guidelines on Reporting for Financial Stability Purposes and the Guidelines on the Supervision of Branches of Third-Country Insurance Undertakings.

Some of the amendments have an impact on the Solvency II XBRL Taxonomy, namely the governance of Taxonomy releases.

It is of utmost importance that the release of the Taxonomy planned for July 2017 and the legal basis are fully aligned.

Read more at: http://bit.ly/2oFmEPp

Bermuda: Changes to Bermuda Solvency Capital Requirement Postponed

In the light of concerns raised in industry feedback, the Bermuda Monetary Authority (BMA) has decided to postpone the introduction of various adjustments to the Bermuda Solvency Capital Requirement (BSCR) standard formula that were proposed in its November 2016 Consultation Paper.

The adjustments were originally scheduled to be field-tested in 2017 with a view to their implementation for year-end filings for financial years beginning on or after 1 January 2017. They will now be introduced for year-end filings for financial years beginning on or after 1 January 2018. There will then be a three-year grade-in period.

The BMA considers that the adjustments are necessary to bring the BSCR into line with international standards. The adjust­ments include the following:

Read “Bermuda: Changes to Bermuda Solvency Capital Requirement Postponed” at Mondaq News

Moody’s assigns Ba2(hyb) rating to RSA’s SEK2.5 billion/DKK650 million perpetual contingent convertible notes

London, 24 March 2017 — Moody’s Investors Service has today assigned a Ba2(hyb) rating to the SEK2.5 billion/DKK650 million perpetual restricted Tier 1 contingent convertible notes (“notes”) to be issued by RSA Insurance Group plc (“RSA” or “Group”; backed subordinated rating Baa1(hyb), stable outlook).

Moody’s approach to rating “high trigger” contingent capital securities is described in its Global insurance rating methodologies (Global Property and Casualty Insurers: https://www.moodys.com/researchdocumentcontentpage.aspx?docid=PBC_190302).

The notes rank junior to RSA’s senior creditors (including Tier 2 capital) and existing preference shares, but they rank senior to common shares. Coupons may be cancelled on a non-cumulative basis at the issuer’s option and on a mandatory basis if the Group’s solvency capital requirement is breached.

Continue Reading “Moody’s assigns Ba2(hyb) rating to RSA’s SEK2.5 billion/DKK650 million perpetual contingent convertible notes” at Moody’s

British regulator to focus more on protecting insurance policyholders

LONDON, March 20 (Reuters) – The Bank of England said it
will devote greater effort to ensuring more consistent
protection for those who would suffer most if their insurance
policies do not pay out as promised. The move follows a review by the central bank’s Independent Evaluation Office (IEO), published on Monday, which looked into
how the BoE’s supervisory arm, the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA), ensures that policyholders are properly protected. PRA work on the issue had been “crowded out” by “live supervisory issues” and the need to implement European Union capital rules known as Solvency II by January 2016, the IEO said in its report. The PRA’s “articulation of its policyholder protection responsibilities appears to be unfinished business”, although there was no evidence that PRA supervisors were falling short of their duties, the IEO said.

BoE Deputy Governor and PRA Chief Executive, Sam Woods, said the PRA does not seek to protect all policyholders equally and will direct more resources to those who would suffer greater financial hardship if their policies do not pay out as promised.

Continue Reading “British regulator to focus more on protecting insurance policyholders” at Nasdaq News

NAIC asks Treasury secretary to review EU-US covered agreement

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners has asked the new Treasury secretary to clarify provisions of the covered agreement reached between the United States and the European Union in response to the bloc’s Solvency II directive. 

The covered agreement deal negotiated by the U.S. Department of the Treasury under the Obama administration and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, announced on Jan. 13, aims to address the fact that the European Commission has not deemed the United States an equivalent jurisdiction, per the EU’s Solvency II directive outlining a risk-based capital regime for insurers and reinsurers in Europe.

Continue Reading “NAIC asks Treasury secretary to review EU-US covered agreement” at Business Insurance News

Flawed Solvency II risk margin is hurting consumers

Analysis by Willis Towers Watson finds the current formula is causing higher premium rates, reduced competition and poor value for consumers

LONDON, Thursday 16 March, 2017 — Willis Towers Watson has responded to a European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) Discussion Paper on the upcoming review of Solvency II, where it has identified significant flaws in Willis-Towers-Watsonthe formula used to calculate the risk margin and recommended a fundamental review of its methodology and calibration.
Kamran Foroughi, Director at Willis Towers Watson, said: “We believe the high level of risk margin currently attached to long-term insurance products is resulting in higher premium rates and reduced competition, leading to worse value for consumers.”
Willis Towers Watson’s submission notes that the risk margin has become a much more material component of insurers’ balance sheets, leading to a number of challenges and changes in business practice, including:
• Asset Liability Matching. Insurers’ ALM challenges related to risk margin have been exacerbated by falling interest rates.
• Risk transfer. The bigger the risk margin relative to the rest of the technical provisions, the more insurers are incentivised to offload risk to reduce the risk margin.
This can be done via reinsurance to a company outside the EU which is not bound by Solvency II rules. Continue reading Flawed Solvency II risk margin is hurting consumers

L&G: UK providers would be ‘world leaders’ without regulatory costs

Providers in the UK would be ‘world leaders’ in digital distribution if they had not spent so much on meeting regulatory requirements, according to Legal & General chief executive Nigel Wilson.legal.general.logo_.2014

Speaking during a panel debate at the Marketforce Distribution Innovation in Pensions and Investments conference, Wilson (pictured) said the cost of regulation has stopped providers from investing in advice.

‘The retail distribution review (RDR) was a good thing but has cost a fortune to implement…and created an advice gap in the UK which we have to now see as an opportunity,’ he said.

Continue Reading “L&G: UK providers would be ‘world leaders’ without regulatory costs” at New Model Adviser

Mutual LV= weighs merger or disposals as capital rules bite

One of Britain’s largest financial services mutuals has been involved in a secret hunt for a merger partner as a combination of tougher capital requirements and low interest rates hamper its profitability.

dddvtureSky News has learnt that LV=, which has nearly 6m UK customers across insurance, pensions and income protection products, has held aborted talks in recent months with Royal London, its fellow mutual, about a possible tie-up.

Those talks are said to have broken down amid a disagreement over the structure of a deal.

Continue Reading “Mutual LV= weighs merger or disposals as capital rules bite” at Sky News

Solvency II means no need for new EU insurance framework

This announcement is in response to a European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) consultation on the potential harmonisation of frameworks for insurers.that_s_all_folks__by_surrimugge-d6rfav1

The lobby group said in its position paper that Solvency II already allows early intervention when either the Minimum Capital Requirement (MCR), or the Solvency Capital Requirement (SCR) are breached, and that this is sufficient.

It states: “Insurance Europe believes it is important to reiterate that Solvency II already provides several safeguards that…

Continue Reading “Solvency II means no need for new EU insurance framework” at The Actuary