Solvency II

EU Solvency II deal could help unlock greater investment in Europe


Europe’s insurance industry has welcomed the finalisation of the EU’s review of Solvency II Directive which was agreed yesterday. Insurance Europe especially welcomed improvements made by the EU’s co-legislators – the European Council and Parliament - in the areas of capital, volatility and proportionality. These changes, the federation argues, can help insurers better serve customers, unlock more investment for the green and digital transitions, and support progress towards completing the EU’s Capital Markets Union.

The review, which began in February 2019, adjusts how the EU’s insurance and reinsurance industry is prudentially regulated. Insurance Europe’s Director-General, Michaela Koller commented: ''Since day one, European insurers have supported the goal of creating a regulatory framework that works for consumers, works for businesses, and works for Europe. The changes can enable the sector to better serve customers and unlock more investment into the European economy supporting the green and digital transitions. Solvency II is and will remain the gold standard in customer protection'.

Insurance Europe welcomes the changes which address some of the existing measurement flaws in Solvency II and which result in more appropriate capital requirements and lower volatility. Insurance Europe’s Deputy Director-General, Olav Jones, said, ''These changes can reduce unnecessary regulatory barriers to offering the long-term products, guarantees and investments customers want and need. They can help the industry to remain key long-term investors who act as a stabilising force during periods of market volatility’’.

Nevertheless, pointing to the next "Level 2" stage of technical discussions that will start next year, Olav Jones added that, ''The devil is in the detail and in order to realise the potential benefits, the political ambition agreed yesterday must be reflected in the technical details which will follow. ''

The insurance industry supports the inclusion of further sustainability elements that are risk and evidence based and look forward to reviewing the co-legislators proposals in more detail. Finally, Insurance Europe welcomes the effort to better embed the proportionality principle – this should reduce excessive burdens for small and non-complex insurers. At the same time, the industry regrets that for most companies, the overall impact of the review will be an increase in operational burdens and reporting, contrary to the European Commission's wider commitment to reducing reporting burden by 25%.