European authority calls for ‘phasing-in’ process

The European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (Eiopa) has issued final guidelines on the “phasing-in” of Solvency II.

Following Eiopa’s recommendations National Competent Authorities will decide how best to adopt the guidelines into their regulatory framework.

The European authority has led a consultation into the adoption of Solvency II and issued its guidelines to help insurers and regulators incorporate the impending regulation.

In a statement Eiopa chair Gabriel Bernardino said: “I would like to thank all the stakeholders for their valuable input during the public consultation.” He continued: “Their comments and suggestions helped us to refine the content and achieve a better balanced approach to the preparatory phase. Together we have made a decisive step toward Solvency II.”

The guidance is expected to be issued in all EU languages by 31 October.

The original deadline for Solvency II was set for 1 January 2014 but delays in implementation mean that Solvency II is unlikely to be adopted before 2016.

Prudential Regulation Authority chief executive officer Andrew Bailey said: “The official implementation date for Solvency II of  1 January 2014 is clearly unrealistic and late last year we set a new planning horizon of 31 December 2015 for the UK industry.

“During that period we are allowing firms to put to use the significant investment in Solvency II internal models to meet the current regulatory requirements under ICAS – referred to as ICAS plus.

“We believe the UK’s current prudential framework for insurers is a good basis for a smooth transition to the new regime under Solvency II.”