27 June 2019EMEA analysis

IAIS praises Guernsey's compliance with evolving insurance core principles

Guernsey, which styles itself as Europe's leading captive insurance market, is meeting current international standards in regulating its insurance industry, according to a report published by the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS).

The report states that Guernsey has “a high level of observance of current international standards”, highlighting its ability to keep pace with developments in the insurance core principles (ICPs) and investments it has made to enhance its supervision.

The Guernsey report is the first time the IAIS has provided a member with in-depth feedback on the implementation of ICPs, which provide a globally-accepted framework of principles, standards and guidance for the regulation and supervision of the insurance sector.

IAIS assessments help members identify the nature and extent of any areas for improvement or gaps in their supervisory and regulatory frameworks, promoting understanding and observance of IAIS supervisory material.

Cees Schrauwers, chairman at the Guernsey Financial Services Commission (GFSC), the regulator responsible for the island's insurance industry, said: “The assessment provides a high-quality update to the 2010 IMF assessment of our observance of international standards, and it gives international counterparties assurance they may place reasonable reliance on the Bailiwick’s regulatory standards and those of the firms operating under them.”

This year the EU Council’s Code of Conduct Group and the European Council of Finance Ministers (ECOFIN) confirmed that the island satisfied its legal substance requirements. Dominic Wheatley, CEO of Guernsey Finance, said: “It was important for us to be white-listed, a position which some of our international competitors have so far failed to secure.”

Wheatley described the GFCS as “approachable, pragmatic and flexible.”

The Guernsey insurance industry numbers 36 insurance intermediaries and 20 insurance managers, largely engaged in managing captive insurers and speciality niche insurers, and in total more than 650 licensed international insurers. The island is also engaged in reinsurance, insurance-linked securities, longevity risk transfers and some specialist insurance.