14 July 2015Bermuda analysis

Bermuda aligns regulation for Solvency II equivalence

Bermuda has aligned its regulatory insurance procedures in a bid to meet European Commission Solvency II standards.

The Commission is expected to make its decision in autumn on whether Bermuda is “fully equivalent” under the insurance prudential regulatory regime.

Bermuda has undertaken Parliamentary and regulatory action in a bid to meet the caveats on the equivalence assessment published by European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) earlier this year.

The most significant legislative amendments defined a requirement of a commercial insurer to have a head office in Bermuda and created authority for new public disclosure requirements for commercial insurers.

The equivalence effort is supported by Bermuda’s leading insurance associations: the Association of Bermuda Insurers and Reinsurers (ABIR); the Bermuda International Long-Term Insurance and Reinsurance Association (BILTIR); the Bermuda Insurance Management Association (BIMA); along with the Bermuda Business Development Agency (BDA).

Bradley Kading, president and executive director of ABIR, said:“Equivalence findings of third countries help promote transparent and comprehensive regulation of non-EU groups with European Union (EU) business operations and encourage cross border reinsurance trade which promotes greater competition and value for EU consumers in insurance markets.

“ABIR members are strong supporters of the BMA’s efforts to be found fully equivalent under Solvency II, but the real beneficiaries are EU commercial consumers which will benefit from open insurance markets.”

Seamus MacLoughlin, on behalf of BILTIR, added: “With this week’s action on a package of substantive and technical amendments Bermuda has completed the legislative and regulatory action that positions Bermuda to meet the caveats on the equivalence assessment as published January 30 by European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA).

Robert Paton, on behalf of BIMA, said: “Jeremy Cox and the Bermuda Monetary Authority (BMA) team are to be commended for timely adoption of the final economic balance sheet regulations and public disclosure legal mandate, as these were considered to be key elements of Solvency 2 equivalence.”