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Insurance Europe aisbl - Rue Montoyer 51 B-1000 Brussels - Belgium
  • Insurers’ investments grew in 2013 but future investment threatened

    Insurers’ investments grew in 2013 but future investment threatened

    Insurers’ investments in the European economy continued to grow during 2013. Concerns remain, however, about how the Solvency II directive will affect their ability to continue as Europe’s largest long-term stable investors, according to Insurance Europe.

    As of 31 December 2013, the European insurance industry had over €8.5 trillion of assets under management, representing a 3.2% growth at constant exchange rates compared with 2012, according to the federation’s annual key facts booklet.

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    01 Sep 2014
  • Existing ICPs sufficiently combat bribery and corruption

    In its response to the recent IAIS draft issues paper on bribery and corruption, Insurance Europe has advocated the view taken by the IAIS that existing insurance core principles (ICP) relevant to combating bribery and corruption are sufficient, and that there is no need for a separate ICP on bribery and corruption.
     
    Insurance Europe has consistently advocated that a risk-based approach is the right way to address financial crime risks, including bribery and corruption. This approach allows insurers to allocate their resources in the most effective way to address identified risks in the right order and with the most appropriate response.

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    14 Aug 2014
    International affairs & reinsurance
  • Response provided to BCR consultation

    Insurance Europe has responded to the second consultation by the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) on the basic capital requirements (BCR) for global systemically important insurers (G-SIIs).

    In its response, Insurance Europe noted that, despite the additional details provided, a thorough assessment of the BCR calibration is not possible until the design and calibration of the higher loss absorbency (HLA) becomes more clear.

    The response also highlighted the opportunity for the IAIS to draw on the extensive work and experience from Solvency II, and hence avoid developing slightly different versions of concepts already developed and tested for Solvency II to avoid burdening G-SIIs with unnecessary additional work and costs.

    While noting the clarification that the BCR would not apply beyond G-SIIs, Insurance Europe took the opportunity to highlight that the scope of the BCR should be limited to the development of the HLA, as it would be difficult to envisage a different purpose given its simplicity.

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    08 Aug 2014
    International affairs & reinsurance
  • European insurance figures show growth and stability

    The European insurance industry has maintained a path of stability and growth, even during times of crisis, according to figures released by Insurance Europe.

    The figures, which included data collected from 32 national insurance associations across Europe, looked at various aspects of the European insurance industry between 2003 and 2012.

    The total amount of life insurance benefits paid out by European insurers increased by 64%, from €389 381 million in 2003 to €639 400 million in 2012. The volume of non-life claims paid increased by 41%, from €236 189 million in 2003 to €332 236 million in 2012, according to the figures.

    European insurance premiums increased in nominal terms by a quarter during that period, with non-life premiums growing at a faster rate than life premiums, with cumulative increases of 30% and 22% respectively, the figures showed.

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    06 Aug 2014
  • Amended requirements for IFRS 9 published

    The amended accounting requirements for financial instruments in the International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) 9 contain a recognition of the need to reduce mismatches between how insurers manage their business and how they report their financial performance.

    Recently issued by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), these amendments will enable insurers to report on the short-term performance of debt security assets in the fair value through other comprehensive income (FVOCI) measurement category and the use of fair value accounting, if doing so avoids an accounting mismatch. However, the insurance industry is not convinced with the prohibition of recycling on equities, when measured at FVOCI.

    Furthermore, an important link is the current IASB development of the insurance contracts standard, otherwise known as IFRS 4 Phase II. The consistent interaction with accounting requirements for insurance contracts is crucial because insurers often have complex long-term asset/liability management strategies, and they may hold other assets such as derivatives, equities and investment property to back their insurance liabilities. In these cases, management/reporting mismatches would still occur. The IFRS 9 application for insurers can only be assessed, therefore, on a holistic basis once the insurance contracts project is finalized. 

    As such, Insurance Europe believes that appropriate and consistent consideration is needed on the inherent link between insurance liabilities and financial assets in order to reflect the business model and performance of insurers. Therefore, it is essential that insurers should be able to implement the two standards at the same time in due course.

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    28 Jul 2014
  • Conflict of interest rules should be tailored to industry

    Insurance Europe has called on EIOPA and the European Commission to ensure that any new rules on conflicts of interest in relation to the sale of insurance-based investment products (PRIIPs) are appropriately tailored to the insurance industry and demonstrate clear benefits to consumers.

    Such rules must also recognise that risks for potential conflicts of interest differ significantly across distribution channels, eg between independent intermediaries and direct sellers. Insurance Europe’s response to the EIOPA consultation paper is available here.

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    23 Jul 2014