But 2016 timetable is ambitious - German Insurance Association

Solvency II has already brought many benefits to the table despite its high cost, according to Friends Life group chief executive Andy Briggs.

Speaking at the ABI conference on Solvency II, Looking to the Future, Briggs said the industry had made big improvements since talk of Solvency II commenced.

“Under the guise of the Solvency II programmes we have made tremendous progress,” Briggs said.

“The quality of economic capital modelling and decision-making within insurers in the UK has improved dramatically.

“The quality of risk management decision-making has improved significantly, and the quality of financial reporting has also improved significantly.

“I’m particularly pleased how well UK insurers, along with the ABI, have worked closely with the Prudential Regulation Authority and the Treasury to develop practical solutions.”

And German Insurance Association (GDV) executive board member Axel Wehling said the industry was now better placed to deal with any financial crises than it was previously.

“We are much better off now because we have these test runs with regard to Solvency II,” Wehling told delegates.

“Imagine our industry if we had not been preparing for these regulations.”

However, Wehling said the GDV was worried that the 2016 implementation date was very ambitious.

“We believe the timetable to 2016 is very ambitious,” he said. “Somewhere near the end of next year we will know what European regulation will look like, and then our national regulator will have to have some time to put this into national law.

“We will probably end up where companies will have to translate this into what they have to do in four to five months. That will be extremely costly to our industry.”

Solvency II timeline

  • Final trialogue on Omnibus II: 13 November 2013
  • Vote on Omnibus II: February 2014
  • Publication of Omnibus II: Spring 2014
  • Publication of new delegated acts: August 2014
  • New delegated acts made official: February 2015
  • Implementing technical standards: Early 2015
  • Internal modelling approval: April 2015
  • Solvency II regulations come into force: January 2016