Showing posts with label AMICE. Show all posts
Showing posts with label AMICE. Show all posts

Thursday, 16 January 2020

AMICE response to Solvency II 2020 Review Consultation

Evolution of Europe’s insurance regulatory environment to benefit policyholders
 The Association of Mutual Insurers and Insurance Cooperatives in Europe (AMICE), the voice of the mutual and cooperative insurance sector in Europe, has today responded to the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority’s (EIOPA) call for advice for the 2020 Review of Solvency II. In its response, AMICE welcomed the overall success of Solvency II as a regulatory framework, and agrees with EIOPA that this review should not result in a revolution, but in the adjustment of certain elements. It is important that this is not used as an opportunity to increase the regulatory burden; it is an opportunity to improve the current system in the light of four years’ experience since its implementation in 2016.
 Following a request by the European Commission, EIOPA in October 2019 published an 878-page consultation paper which includes suggestions to update almost all aspects of Solvency II. The consultation comprises 19 separate topics, which can be divided broadly into three parts:
 ▪ the review of the long-term guarantee measures; ▪ the potential introduction of new regulatory tools in the Solvency II Directive; ▪ revisions to the existing Solvency II framework.
 AMICE has highlighted three key areas in its response to EIOPA:
 1) Long-term measures and equity risk 
 This review is an opportunity to reduce procyclicality and rebalance capital requirements for certain investment classes, ensuring that our members can continue to play their vital long-term role in the European economy and that capital can be accessed in line with CMU objectives. AMICE has made several proposals to assist in achieving a proper reflection of the net risk profile of the long-term business model, and issued two position notes with concrete proposals for easy- to-apply fixes for the volatility adjustment (VA) and long-term equity. We are particularly concerned that the VA and extrapolation proposals need to be tackled in line with stakeholders’ interests, as we have detailed in our response.
 2) Macroprudential policies 
 The insurance sector has proven to be resilient in the face of economic challenges. There is little evidence that it contributes to systemic risk, particularly within the mutual sector. With these points in mind, AMICE believes that the regulatory tools within the Solvency II system are ensuring a robust insurance sector and providing appropriate protection for policyholders. In particular, the powerful governance tools, including the ORSA, in Pillar 2 of Solvency II are robust safeguards.
 3) Proportionality 
 Proportionality is embedded in the Solvency II Directive and the Delegated Regulation, but its application has been limited. This has resulted in a disproportionate regulatory burden, particularly for small and medium-sized insurers (many of which are mutuals), which does not properly reflect their risk profile or provide commensurate policyholder protection. AMICE supports proposals to increase the thresholds at which Solvency II applies to small insurers, to apply an appropriately calibrated regime for medium-sized insurers, and to ensure that the principle of proportionality works consistently in practice. AMICE has focused on proportionality within Solvency II for many years, and recently has made detailed submissions for practical solutions such as a regulatory “toolbox”.

 The highly technical topics presented in the EOIPA consultation have been discussed intensely by AMICEand its members prior to its collective response, which was submitted earlier today.
 The AMICE membership notes that while it supports the overarching principles of Solvency II - to ensure that EU policyholders enjoy the same level of protection regardless of where they buy insurance - the current regulation presents some shortcomings for the mutual and co-operative insurance sector. Since the introduction of Solvency II, mutual and co-operative insurers have called for a considered and proportional approach to its evolution.
 In its response to the call for advice for the 2020 review of Solvency II, AMICE recognises that some technical corrections are necessary, but also highlights that:
▪ progress should follow a principle-based regime: supervisory convergence should not lead to more legislation, and should deliver simplification of existing rules wherever possible, not result in unnecessary and overly burdensome complication. A measured approach to the introduction of new tools should be applied, particularly where existing tools are already fit for purpose, or still being developed;
 ▪ changes should not assume a ‘one size fits all’ approach.
While market consistency is desirable, regulatory reform should be appropriate, representative, responsive and proportional; and
 ▪ the cost of change is ultimately borne by the policyholder. The administrative burden of the proposed changes will be significant, and the impact of further regulatory reform should be taken into account.
 AMICE’s Secretary General, Sarah Goddard, commented:
 “Historically, AMICE has been deeply involved in the consultation around the development of Solvency II, particularly the implementation of the proportionality principle. Proportionality is particularly important for the mutual and co-operative insurance sector, alongside more technical aspects such as long-term equity, the volatility adjustment and interest rate risk. We have highlighted these issues in our response to the Solvency II 2020 Review consultation.” She continued, “This review is an important programme in ensuring that the European regulatory system works the way it should do, including fair treatment of all insurers, and AMICE has worked with members across Europe to ensure they are fully represented and their views appropriately reflected in our response. We look forward to a positive and ongoing dialogue with EIOPA and other stakeholders on regulatory reform.”

Monday, 30 September 2019

Solvency II proportionality principle key for avoiding excessive burden, but doesn’t work in practice

Insurance Europe and AMICE have issued a joint call for the EC to improve Solvency II proportionality rules to ensure that insurers are not disproportionately burdened by the regulatory framework.
While Solvency II and, in particular, its risk-based approach is supported by the EU insurance industry, changes are needed to rules on proportionality. This is because currently the sheer volume of rules imposed on companies can be disproportionate and unnecessarily burdensome relative to their activities and risks.
Proportionality is a vital element of Solvency II that was included to enable national supervisory authorities (NSAs) to exercise a proportionate application of regulatory requirements imposed on insurers, in relation to the scale, nature and complexity of their activity. As such, it can help all insurers to avoid unnecessary costs and can avoid smaller insurers being driven out of business due to regulatory requirements which are excessive relative to their activity.
EU insurers have warned that the principle of proportionality is, in practice, hardly ever applied under Solvency II and have jointly called on the European Commission to make changes. The industry’s proposed improvements would help to ensure that the principle of proportionality is applied effectively and consistently across all member states and across all three pillars of Solvency II. 

Wednesday, 5 June 2019

AMICE further strengthens Board membership for comprehensive representation across diverse countries and members

At its General Meeting in Brussels (5 June), the AMICE (the Association of Mutual Insurers and Insurance Cooperatives in Europe) membership unanimously agreed the appointment of all proposed members of the Board. AMICE is a key stakeholder in the European advocacy sector for the insurance industry, representing distinct models and structures which are responsible for more than one-third of all European insurance business.
AMICE’s Board, which is elected for a three-year term, now comprises:
       Grzegorz Buczkowski, Saltus (PL)
       Odilo Bürgy, Swiss Mobiliar (CH)
       Stephane Cossé, Covéa (FR)
       Carlo Enrico de Fernex, Reale Mutua (IT)
       Jari Eklund, LähiTapiola (FI)
       Cornélia Federkeil, AAM (FR)
       Michael Garvey, IPB Insurance CLG (IE)
       Klaus-Jürgen Heitmann, HUK-Coburg (DE)
       Róbert Lilli, KÖBE (HU)
       Christopher Lohmann, Gothaer (DE)
       Allan Luplau, Sygeforsikringen “danmark“ (DK)
       Tom Meeus, Fédérale Assurance, (BE)
       Pablo Mongelos García, Seguros Lagun Aro (ES)
       Christophe Ollivier, FNMF (FR)
       Robert Otto, Achmea (NL)
       Norbert Rollinger, R+V Versicherung (DE)
       Ann Sommer, Länsförsäkringar (SE)
       Jorge Vázquez Morenés, Mutua Madrileña (ES)
       Ana Teresa Vicente Custódio de Sá, Mutua dos Pescadores (PT)
       Dimitrios Zorbas, Syneteristiki (GR)

Grzegorz Buczkowski was unanimously reappointed as President of AMICE for a second three-year term. Christophe Ollivier was unanimously reappointed Vice-President for a second three-year term, and Christopher Lohmann was unanimously appointed Vice-President for the first time. Róbert Lilli was reappointed – also unanimously – as AMICE’s Treasurer.

The Board welcomed two new members to its ranks, Michael Garvey, CEO of IPB in Ireland, and Ana Vincente, CEO of Mútua dos Pescadores in Portugal. They both represent more specialised and smaller mutual insurers, and reflect the geographic diversity of AMICE’s membership. Michael Garvey is the first Irish member of the AMICE Board.

Sarah Goddard, Secretary General of AMICE, said: “AMICE’s core strength lies in its ability to represent our diverse membership, reflecting one of our four key values – inclusiveness. We bring together insurers from different European countries, of different sizes, structures and directions, who are united under the banner of mutuality and cooperation. This value sits alongside three others – accountability, sustainability and ethical behaviour, and excellence – as the core of AMICE’s new strategy which commenced at the beginning of this year.”

The AMICE General Meeting was followed by a symposium on sustainable finance, featuring presentations from AMICE’s newest supporting member, OFI Asset Management, and Better Finance, the European Federation of Investors and Financial Services Users.

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Insurance regulation and supervisory equality in the spotlight at AMICE / ICMIF regulatory event

Insurers around the world sh alessio@alessiopisano.comould receive fair regulatory treatment, according to their nature, scale and complexity, a conference of mutual and cooperative insurers will hear at the second joint AMICE-ICMIF regulatory event taking place in Paris today. More than 100 delegates will hear from leading industry representatives, practitioners, global regulators and policymakers about regulatory developments impacting the insurance industry. Hosted by French mutual Covéa, delegates from the Americas, Europe and Asia will examine regulatory convergence activities and assess how well they ultimately serve the policyholder.
“Revisiting insurance regulation and supervision: is there an optimal model? The stakeholders’ views” will explore:
  • International Regulation: From Africa to Australia, via Latin America and Europe: is a global model the best solution? Is there a global playing field in sight?
  • European Regulation: The strengths and shortcomings of Solvency II in Europe
  • The global architecture for insurance regulation: For the first time in history, the G20 meeting in Argentina included an Insurance Forum. Analysing the interplay between the global and regional standard setting bodies.
  • Calibrating new emerging risks: From climate change to cyber, including long-term care, should emerging risks be treated equally on a global scale?
Speakers at the event include: Pervenche Berès, Member of the European Parliament; Romain Paserot, Deputy Secretary General, IAIS; Dr Mamiko Yokoi-Arai, Principal Administrator, OECD; Dr Manuela Zweimüller, Head of the Policy Department, EIOPA;  and Bertrand Labilloy, CEO, CCR.
Speaking before the event, Sarah Goddard, AMICE Secretary General said, “Since the global financial crisis, the focus has been on strengthening international regulation. While much has been achieved to benefit policyholders, complexity has increased. In the second joint ICMIF and AMICE regulatory event, we explore the divergent regulatory approaches of different insurance markets and ask whether a textbook model for insurance regulation and supervision is achievable.”
Catherine Hock, ICMIF’s Vice-President of International Relations, commented: “Mutual insurance constitutes an important element of the insurance industry, contributing to consumers’ choice, product and service innovation, fair pricing and consumers’ trust. In these troubled times we need more trust and stability. Mutuality has an important role to play in matters where stability and the ability to take a long-term view are required.”
ICMIF CEO Shaun Tarbuck said, “This year saw Argentina hold the presidency of the G20 and, thanks to the growing recognition of insurance as a social protection mechanism to promote financial and economic stability and growth, a dedicated G20 Insurance Forum took place, for the first time ever.
“Here at ICMIF, we strongly believe in the role of insurance to face global challenges, and the G20 Insurance Forum in Argentina was a historic milestone for insurance supervision, legislation and the insurance industry. Discussions relating to sustainable development, barriers for long-term investment in infrastructure, technological innovation, and financial stability were all addressed and the voice of the insurance sector was clearly heard. The industry is a key stakeholder for addressing many challenges, not only through the development of innovative products to improve economic resilience, but also as a catalyst for resources towards common goals.”
Together, AMICE and ICMIF represent 295 mutual and cooperative insurers in 74 countries. Members range from large market leaders to niche, affinity-based insurers – and most are small to medium sized.
Find details of the Revisiting insurance regulation and supervision: Is there an optimal model? The stakeholders' views event agenda and more information here.

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

AMICE calls for a fair and competitive marketplace in Europe

The Association of Mutual Insurers and Insurance Cooperatives in Europe aisbl (AMICE), the voice of the mutual and cooperative insurance sector in Europe, has today highlighted the barriers to cross-border insurance for its members,
Despite forming more than 30% of the European insurance market, there are significant barriers for many mutual and cooperative insurers to actively participate in cross-border insurance activities. With cross-border business being highlighted at EIOPA’s annual conference today in Frankfurt, as well as in the recent report on some of EIOPA’s activities by the European Court of Auditors, AMICE continues to call for all European countries to recognise the mutual model and ensure a balanced approach to supervision and proportionality to maintain diversity in the market and choice for policymakers.
Information contained in AMICE’s recently published Facts & Figures Vol 2 shows the disparity in legislative and regulatory systems in the EU28 and EEA countries, as well as the development of the sector in Europe in the years 2007-2015. Facts & Figures Vol 2 is the biggest longitudinal study of the sector every undertaken.
Sarah Goddard, AMICE Secretary General commented,
She continued,
“Although the European insurance industry in general continues to feel the pressures of a testing business environment, the durability of the mutual and cooperative insurance model has provided a buffer against some of the problems traditionally faced by policyholders when there is a sustained period of challenge. This was clearly illustrated our second edition of the Facts & Figures publication, which showed a substantial increase in market share for our sector in the years of turmoil following the global financial crash a decade ago.”
The full report is available from the AMICE Secretariat or via the AMICE website

Statistical data was sourced and analysed for this report by the International Cooperative and Mutual Insurance Federation (ICMIF). The legal landscape elements of the report were developed through desk research by AMICE, supported by AMICE members, national supervisors, national associations and other trade bodies.

Monday, 11 June 2018

European mutual and cooperative insurers strengthened market share through stable and secure business model

AMICE and ICMIF have collaborated to co-publish the biggest longitudinal study of the mutual and cooperative insurance sector in Europe:Facts and figures: Mutual and cooperative insurance in Europe Vol 2.
The study covers the 28 Member States of the European Union (EU), plus the four countries which are members of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). These countries reflect the AMICE membership criteria. The main purposes of the study are to:
·         describe the mutual and cooperative insurance sector in Europe by highlighting the size, relevance and socio-economic importance of mutual and cooperative insurers in Europe from 2007 to 2015; and
·         provide a detailed European legal landscape of mutual and cooperative insurers post-Solvency II as it is applied in each countries of this report.

AMICE launched the publication to 175 delegates present at its biennial Congress in Stockholm this week, hosted by two of AMICE’s Swedish members, Folksam and Länsförsäkringar.

The report demonstrates that Europe’s mutual and cooperative insurers have seen a resurgence in business in recent years. Statistical data sourced and analysed for this report by ICMIF demonstrates that the period between 2007 and 2015 witnessed a renewed interest from members/policyholders in mutual and cooperative insurance, turning the trend from the previous edition of this report published in 2012 by AMICE and covering the years 2004-2008.
The report comprises an analysis of the landscape and evolution of the European mutual and cooperative insurance industry, followed by individual chapters dedicated to each country covered in the report. Each country chapter contains an overview of the legal environment, developed through desk research by AMICE, as it stands in 2017/2018 to describe the various legal and regulatory systems after the implementation of Solvency II at the beginning of 2016. Statistical data has been analysed for the period between 2007 and 2015, reflecting the most up-to-date information available at the commencement of the research.

President of AMICE Grzegorz Buczkowski welcomed the release of the report. He said: “This in-depth study demonstrates the renewed interest of policyholders in the security afforded to them by mutual and cooperative insurers, reflecting the unique relationship between mutuals and their members/policyholders. It also shows, though, that there is very uneven recognition of the legal form of mutual and cooperative insurers across Europe. This ultimately leads to unequal treatment in different European Member States, to the detriment of some policyholders.”
AMICE Secretary General Sarah Goddard said: “The fundamental distinguishing feature of mutual and cooperative insurers, setting them apart from listed insurance companies, is that they operate for the benefit of their members/policyholders rather than for the benefit of external investors. One consequence of this is that mutual and cooperative insurers have a stronger focus on the longer-term time horizon than their listed counterparts, notably in respect to their relationship with members/policyholders. This also manifests itself in many mutual and cooperatives insurers’ approach towards products and claims, socio-economic responsibilities, democratic governance and sustainability.”

She continued: “Whether the upwards trends identified in this report will continue remain to be seen. There are significant changes taking place in the wider European insurance industry, as well as new competition developing from technological innovation. The flexibility of mutual/cooperative insurers to respond to external factors and of regulators to recognise their unique features will play a large part in their future success.”

Commenting on the report, co-author and ICMIF lead on the statistical data element of the report, Ben Telfer, Vice-President, Business Intelligence, said: “This reports provides the most comprehensive insight into the state of mutual and cooperative insurance in Europe and the positive financial performance of the sector post the global financial crisis 2007-2008. The significant growth in premium income, market share and total assets demonstrates the strength and resilience of the mutual/ cooperative model of insurance, and the increases in the number of employees and number of members/policyholders shows the socio-economic importance of mutual and cooperative insurance, and the re-emergence of its appeal among European consumers.”

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Mutual connections for European insurers to be reinforced in Stockholm

European mutual and cooperative insurers will meet in Stockholm, Sweden on 3-5 June at their biennial Congress to examine the mutual connections within the sector. The Congress,AMICE’s flagship event for its members, brings together senior representatives from insurers run on mutual/cooperative principles – a sector representing more than 30% of the total European insurance market.
The Congress, hosted by Swedish mutual insurers Folksam and Länsförsäkringar, will bring together European policymakers, experts and industry leaders. Speaker highlights will include:
·         Keynote intervention by Fredrik Reinfeldt, former Prime Minister of Sweden
·         Panel discussion with Gabriel Bernardino, Chairman of EIOPA
·         Congress moderated by Mia Odabas, economics journalist
Grzegorz Buczkowski, AMICE President:
“The theme of our Congress will be “Mutual connections”, in which we will be highlighting the connections between mutual/cooperative insurers and their members/policyholders, their work forces and wider society. We will also be considering the connections with the European institutions and between Europe and its citizens, where the mutual/cooperative insurance sector provides financial stability and protection to hundreds of millions of European members/policyholders.”
The Congress will be opened by Fredrik Reinfeldt who has been active in Swedish and international politics for 25 years. He was Prime Minister of Sweden 2006-2014, during which time he transformed the Swedish economy and labour market. As a result of this, Sweden became one of the most profiled reform countries in the developed world. During his eight-year membership of the European Council, he was the last President of the rotating presidency before the introduction of a full time President of the European Council. Today he is a globally respected economist and lecturer on governance, leadership and political reforms.
For more information and registrations visit the AMICE Congress website.