On 17 February 2022, the Italian financial market supervisory authority (“Consob”) launched a public consultation on the proposed amendments to be brought to Consob Regulation no. 20307 of 15 February 2018 in matter of intermediaries ("CONSOB Intermediaries Regulation"), for the purpose of implementing, at national level, the following EU sources in matter of sustainable finance:

  • Directive (EU) 2021/338 which, as part of the Capital Markets Recovery Package, modifies MiFID II on the subject of investor protection; 
  • EU Regulation 2021/1257 amending, among others, delegated acts for the implementation of MiFID II, UCITS and IDD; 
  • Directive (EU) 2019/2034 amending MiFID II as regards the provision of investment services by nonEU companies on the exclusive initiative of clients, 

regarding, among others, the product governance regulations applicable to the provision of investment services, the conflicts of interest discipline and the distribution of Insurance-based Investment Products (IBIPs). 

With respect to the major changes to be introduced to the discipline of IBIPS distribution in the Consob Intermediaries Regulation, these can be summarized as follows: 

  •  product oversight governance (‘’POG’’):

manufacturers are required to:  

i. take into account the sustainability of IBIPs, as well as the goals of the customers in relation to sustainability in the process of approval of insurance products, also during the testing and monitoring phase;

ii. consider the sustainability factors of such products, as well as the customers’ goals in terms of sustainability, when defining the target market; 

iii. employ personnel that has enough experience and knowledge to understand the goals, in terms of sustainability, of the customers falling into the target market when designing IBIPs;

iv. provide the distributors with the information necessary to allow the latter to identify the customers whose goals, also in terms of sustainability, are not compatible with the insurance product.

  • conflict of interests: insurance distributors and insurance undertakings who are also distributors shall consider also conflicts of interest that may arise from the client’s sustainability preferences;
  • assessment of the adequacy of the investments: 

i. the customer's investment objectives, his/her ESG preferences should be taken into account in the phase of acquiring information;

ii. insurance products that do not meet the customer's sustainability preferences should not be recommended. 

The abovementioned amendments and modifications are applicable only for IBIPs distributors who are subject to Consob’s regulation. It is not clear yet whether IVASS will proceed likewise for the distributors falling into its realm of supervision. 

The public consultation is available (only in Italian) at the following link: 

https://www.consob.it/web/consob/dettaglio-news/-/asset_publisher/hZ774IBO5XPe/content/modifiche-al-regolamento-intermediari-documento-di-consultazione-17-febbraio-2022-/10194;

comments to the consultation may be sent to Consob by 19 March 2022 online, through the SIPE (Integrated External System).