Featured Product

    EIOPA Report Identifies Key Financial Stability Risks for Insurers

    July 30, 2020

    EIOPA published the financial stability report that provides detailed quantitative and qualitative assessment of the key risks identified for the insurance and occupational pensions sectors in the European Economic Area. EIOPA also administered a qualitative questionnaire to national competent authorities to assess the materiality of risks stemming from the COVID-19 shock to the financial stability of the insurance sector. Results reveal that profitability of investment portfolio, solvency position, exposure to banks, underwriting profitability, concentration to domestic sovereign, and cyber risk are the top six key risks and challenges in terms of materiality for insurers. The report includes two thematic articles, with one focusing on the EU sustainable finance taxonomy from the perspective of the insurance and reinsurance sector and the other on the impact of the EIOPA statement on dividend distribution by insurers.

    The risk assessment reveals that COVID-19 outbreak highlighted the importance of the Solvency II regulatory framework. The market-consistent and risk-based approach helps insurers to better align capital to risk, build resilience, and enhance the risk management practices. Moreover, the adjustments included for long-term guarantees allow to partially mitigate market volatility associated with the COVID-19 outbreak reflected in own funds and/or solvency capital requirements. As of year-end 2019, the insurance sector had a solid and comfortable capital buffer (median SCR ratio of 213%), which helped insurers to withstand the initial severe market shocks experienced with the COVID-19 crisis. However, a high level of uncertainty on the magnitude of economic disruption increases downside risks going forward. The prolonged low-yield environment has already been a fundamental risk for both insurance and pension sectors and the COVID-19 outbreak further increased its potential.

    Moreover, the shock has also increased credit risk, challenging the asset-side valuations of insurers and their solvency positions. The forthcoming recession will negatively affect corporate sector profitability, resulting in rating downgrades. In addition, commercial real estate prices are expected to drop due to the extensive adoption of work from home arrangements by firms. A high interconnectedness of insurers and banks could further support spillovers of mentioned risks from the real sector to insurers and pension funds. Strains to demand and insurers’ underwriting profitability might take some time to unfold in parallel with the deterioration of the macroeconomic environment. Finally, confinement measures resulted in working from home arrangement, which increased cyber risk and further highlighted the importance of a reliable cyber risk insurance market. All these factors might lead to the materialization of the risks on insurers’ balance sheet with a substantial lag and high uncertainties. The report also notes that climate risks remain one of the focal points for the insurance industry, with environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors increasingly shaping the investment decisions of insurers and affecting their underwriting practices.

    Amid the challenging environment due to the COVID-19 shock, EIOPA and national supervisory authorities are working in close cooperation and took actions to help insurers to focus on ensuring business continuity to serve their customers. The Solvency II regime has some layers of flexibility. If the crisis deepens and if there will be a significant number of companies in difficulty, EIOPA is prepared to issue a declaration of adverse developments. This measure will allow national authorities to extend the recovery period, providing insurers more time to rebuild capital levels if needed. Recovery plans need to be assessed and granted consistently across countries. There is no doubt that the economy will experience a deep and unprecedented recession. The high uncertainty on the recovery path needs to be captured by an appropriate forward-looking risk assessment. In this respect, different recovery scenarios should be captured in the design of next year’s European Union-wide insurance stress test. 

     

    Related Links

    Keywords: Europe, EU, Insurance, Financial Stability Report, Cyber Risk, Climate Change Risks, Credit Risks, Credit Risk, Solvency II, COVID-19, Stress Testing, ESG, EIOPA

    Featured Experts
    Related Articles
    News

    BoE Consults on Approach to Setting MREL, Publishes Bail-In Guidance

    The Bank of England (BoE) published a consultation paper on approach to setting minimum requirement for own funds and eligible liabilities (MREL), an operational guide on executing bail-in, and a statement from the Deputy Governor Dave Ramsden.

    July 22, 2021 WebPage Regulatory News
    News

    EBA Seeks Views on Proportionality Assessment Methodology

    The European Banking Authority (EBA) is seeking preliminary input on standardization of the proportionality assessment methodology for credit institutions and investment firms.

    July 22, 2021 WebPage Regulatory News
    News

    US Agencies Propose Changes to Call Reports and Instructions

    Certain regulatory authorities in the US are extending period for completion of the review of certain residential mortgage provisions and for publication of notice disclosing the determination of this review until December 20, 2021.

    July 22, 2021 WebPage Regulatory News
    News

    PRA Finalizes Rulebook Definition of Higher Paid Material Risk-Taker

    The Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) published the policy statement PS18/21, which introduces an amendment in the definition of "higher paid material risk taker" in the Remuneration Part of the PRA Rulebook.

    July 21, 2021 WebPage Regulatory News
    News

    EBA Examines Asset Encumbrance in Banking Sector

    The European Banking Authority (EBA) published its annual report on asset encumbrance in banking sector.

    July 21, 2021 WebPage Regulatory News
    News

    EBA Publishes Methodological Guide to Mystery Shopping

    The European Banking Authority (EBA) published a methodological guide to mystery shopping.

    July 21, 2021 WebPage Regulatory News
    News

    APRA Issues Update on Capital Reform Policy Settings for Banks

    The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) released a letter to authorized deposit-taking institutions to provide an update on key policy settings for the capital framework reforms, which will come into effect from January 01, 2023.

    July 21, 2021 WebPage Regulatory News
    News

    CPMI-IOSCO Assess Continuity Planning of Market Infrastructures

    The Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures (CPMI) and the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) published a report that assesses the business continuity planning activities of financial market infrastructures or FMIs.

    July 21, 2021 WebPage Regulatory News
    News

    BoE Announces Changes to Validation Rules for Form BTL

    The Bank of England (BoE) published questions and answers (Q&A) on OSCA to BEEDS migration for statistical reporting as well a presentation from the project overview session held with statistical reporters.

    July 20, 2021 WebPage Regulatory News
    News

    BCBS Proposes Changes to Process for Reviewing G-SIB Methodology

    The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS) is consulting on a technical amendment to the Basel Framework to reflect a new process reviewing the global systemically important bank (G-SIB) assessment methodology.

    July 20, 2021 WebPage Regulatory News
    RESULTS 1 - 10 OF 7281