Bernardino wants to fight supervisory arbitrage

20.11.2014 – eiopa_beranrdino_baltzer_150Von VWheute-Redakteur Christoph Baltzer.

Eiopa Chairman Gabriel Bernardino announced yesterday in Frankfurt that he will use “all the tools at his disposal” to create a single playing field for insurance companies in the EU. However budget problems of Eiopa have to be solved. Bernardino said:

“We are now approaching a point in time where the priority is naturally shifting to the implementation of the regime across all the EU Member States. The development of a single rule book of harmonised regulation is a huge step forward for the single market, but let’s be honest: good regulation is just a first step. The real challenge will be to ensure that Solvency II is implemented in a consistent way throughout the EU. This requires effective and convergent supervision in all Member States in order to prevent regulatory arbitrage and guarantee a level playing field.

Bearing in mind the aforementioned, Eiopa will put a strong emphasis on the promotion of supervisory convergence by contributing to upgrade the quality and consistency of national supervision and strengthening oversight of cross-border groups. Strong and credible supervision is needed across the EU. Preventive supervision and timely enforcement contribute to healthy market competition and are critical to avoid consumer detriment. Eiopa will use all the tools at its disposal to deliver on this objective.

First of all we will issue Technical Standards and Guidelines. In the Technical Standards we will be defining forms, templates and procedures for specific areas under Solvency II, while by our Guidelines we will ensure common, uniform and consistent application of the regime. Secondly, we will continue to reinforce our participation in the colleges of supervisors, conduct peer reviews, and issuing opinions addressed to NCA’s. Our Centre of expertise in internal models will focus on the development and testing of sound on-going appropriateness indicators and benchmarking. The work on the Supervisory Handbook will continue to deliver good practices on the different supervisory areas of Solvency II.

Our Supervisory Oversight team will continue to engage bilaterally with NCA’s gaining experience, gather information and building trustful relations with the aim to provide independent and challenging feedback on supervisory practices. As part of this process and in close cooperation with the national supervisory authority, Eiopa is going to oversee the balance sheet review of the Romanian insurance sector.

This is an impressive programme but every component is essential to avoid market fragmentation and deliver a truly level playing field in the internal market, for the ultimate benefit of EU undertakings and consumers. But let me repeat a clear message: In order to deliver on these objectives we need to strengthen our operational independence and in particular to find a stable solution for the financing of Eiopa, be it funding through an independent budget line in the General Budget of the European Union, financing by industry or a combination of the aforementioned. The budget cut and the freezing of the staff numbers, as proposed by the European Commission for 2015, would severely undermine our capacity to continue to deliver on the objectives set out in the Eiopa regulation and the tasks we were given by the legislators.”

Bild: Gabriel Bernardino, EIOPA-Präsident. (Quelle: ba)

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