Once again the goal posts move in Solvency II world. Just over a week ago we wrote that it was unlikely we’d see implentation of Solvency II before 2015. Now, comments from Carlos Montalvo, Executive Director of the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) at an event held during the Baden Baden reinsurance meetings have pushed the start date back even further to 2016.
Montalvo was speaking at a panel event hosted by broker Guy Carpenter on Sunday when he made these remarks. He was asked whether the latest delays would result in a 2015 start date for Solvency II or whether it was more likely that it would move even further into the future.
He said that what was vital was a credible response to the delays, suggesting that the regulators needed to put a formal timeline in place to manage expectations. He said it would be preferable to propose a date further in the future that was more realistic rather than face further delays if 2015 was not feasible.
“We cannot afford another delay”, Montalvo said, “It is not up to EIOPA to decide but we think it more likely to be in 2016”. He added that if the aim was to launch Solvency II in 2015 then everything would have to be perfect, and judging from the recent delays that was unlikely.
Also commenting recently on the potential for a 2015 launch was Gabriel Bernardino, chairman of EIOPA. He said that 2014, the originally planned launch was completely out of reach. “Under the best scenario, Solvency II could start to be implemented either 2015 or 2016. It depends on the length of the legal and political process,” Mr. Bernardino said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. “At the end of the day, we’ll probably go to 2016, but it is still to be seen.”
Also in the news today, the head of the UK’s Financial Services Authority insurance unit, Julian Adams, said that the FSA would extend the date by which insurers needed to develop models to calculate their capital requirements. Adams said that the date by when this is required could move out as far as to the end of 2015.
Adams clearly recognised the significant effort that insurers have put into preparations for Solvency II. “I want to make it clear that I fully understand the industry’s frustration with this state of affairs,” he said. “I’d like to add my voice to those calling for a clear and credible timetable to be introduced at the earliest opportunity.”