Bernardino-Speech: Global Insurance Supervision

05.03.2014 – gabriel-bernardino-150The development of global supervisory standards is a highly ambitious project and in order to deliver it, we need to have a clear understanding of the objectives and who is going to drive it, what and how is it going to be done and when it will be there.

The key role in this very challenging piece of work is given to the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) and this is absolutely right. For almost 20 years of its existence, the IAIS has managed to build up a very solid platform for common work and information exchange between more than 190 jurisdictions in over 140 countries. [...] The development of supervisory standards for insurers should benefit from the relevant knowledge and expertise of insurance supervisors around the globe and should be backed by political commitment from the FSB and the G20.

I am convinced that the appropriate way to do it is to accept a step-by-step approach that will progressively create more commonality. This will facilitate the efficiency of supervision and increase financial stability and consumer protection. This approach should provide jurisdictions with sufficient time to prepare the necessary changes without causing significant disruptions in the markets. And, of course, this should be done in close consultation with the different stakeholders.

Now, when the Solvency II supervisory framework enters into its final phase before the full implementation, I think the EU is significantly influencing the international debate with regard to the development of a risk-based supervisory framework. I am convinced that the basic sound principles of Solvency II will be applied internationally. This means that the international capital standards should incorporate the fundamental principles underlying Solvency II: a total balance sheet approach, clear and transparent target criteria for calibration of capital requirements, explicit recognition of risk diversification and consideration in capital requirements of all the material risks to which the group is exposed. The objective should be to foster global convergence and consistency of supervisory practices, through the implementation of a sound risk-based supervisory framework, allowing Solvency II to be one of the practical implementations of the international standard.

That does not mean that the global capital standards will mimic Solvency II. I do not think that the global capital standards will need to be as granular as Solvency II.

Nevertheless, going forward we should be open to make adjustments to our system if that is needed. Companies should be subject to only one capital regime.

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