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
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
In a position paper entitled “The Impact of Solvency II Prudential Regulation on Property Financing in the Insurance Industry”, the Financial Analysis and Accounting Research Centre and the Economics Research Centre at EDHEC Business School conduct a critical analysis of the calibration of property risk under Solvency II prudential regulation.
This study, conducted in partnership with the French Ministry for Housing, tests the robustness of the calculations for two key elements within the Solvency II calibration – the size of the property shock (Value-at-Risk) and the correlation of real estate with other asset classes.
The challenge of this analysis is sizeable given that the European insurance sector currently has €10 trillion worth of outstanding investments.
Continue Reading “EDHEC: Solvency II Prudential Regulation – An Impediment To The Return Of Insurers To The Property Market” at Mondo Visione
The recovery of the European economy — combined with moves by regulators to free up potential sources of return — is leading to a paradigm shift in asset allocation. But conflicting regulatory regimes could curtail some of the opportunity, sources said.
European pension funds’ investing patterns are beginning to change, thanks to a lifting of asset allocation restrictions across the Continent that is coinciding with the long-awaited recovery in the European economy and a changing global interest rate environment.
The global financial crisis left asset owners in Europe with no appetite for more volatile asset classes.
And European pension funds historically were heavily invested in fixed-income instruments.
Continue Reading “European growth, regulatory changes drive asset moves” at Pensions & Investments
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
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
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 the 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
The implementation of Solvency II in Europe has provided an additional risk management tool to owners of European captives, but at a cost, forcing risk managers to re-examine whether they are getting the best use out of their captives.
Solvency II, the European Union-wide risk-based capital rules for insurers and reinsurers, came into force in January 2016, and with it came new elements that have affected captives, for better or for worse.
“What we’re seeing as managers is an increased interest in strategic reviews and companies re-examining the captives to explore optimization opportunities and thus potentially…
Continue Reading “Solvency II complicates captive strategies ” at Business Insurance News
The Bank of England has dealt a blow to UK insurers hoping for a quick fix to what they see as the most onerous aspects of EU capital requirements.
The insurance industry has been campaigning for a more lenient interpretation of EU rules known as Solvency II. Some insurers have accused the central bank of “gold plating” the regulatory regime, which is supposed to be applied equally across the EU.
But in a speech to the Association of British Insurers on Tuesday, David Rule, the BoE’s head of insurance supervision, said its implementation of Solvency II had been “robust but proportionate” and played down the potential for immediate changes.
Continue Reading “Bank of England defends implementation of Solvency II rules” at Financial Times