But S&P warns of major market consolidation as a result of new directive

Rating agency Standard & Poor’s has predicted that its ratings of European insurers are likely to be more stable thanks to recent proposed revisions to the Solvency II timetable.

The ratings agency expects most insurers to welcome the transitional arrangements proposed in the European Commission’s Omnibus II directive, which extends the timetable for complying with Solvency II. Omnibus II confirms the revised Solvency II implementation date of 1 January 2013.

S&P expects the administrative burden of Solvency II to be reduced significantly if the revisions are adopted, but concedes there may be discontent among insurers that have already invested heavily in preparing for full implementation in 2013.

S&P also reiterated its concerns about the likelihood of significant market consolidation as a result of Solvency II and the need for insurers to re-examine their business models.

The Commission and the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority have the final say on whether to accept the revisions.