The European Insurance & Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) has published its “Guidelines on the supervision of branches of third-country insurance undertakings“.

The Guidelines are intended to ensure that policyholders receive the same level of protection, whether they buy their insurance from a European insurer, or the European branch of a third-country insurer.

The Guidelines only apply to the supervision of third-country branches carrying on insurance business. They don’t apply to third-country insurers that are only carrying on reinsurance business through a European branch, even if they carry on insurance business from their head office and/or non-EU branches.

The Guidelines cover:

  • Authorisation – Guidelines 1 to 6;
  • Supervisory powers, and communications with other supervisory authorities – Guidelines 7 to 16;
  • Financial soundness of the branch – Guidelines 17 to 26;
  • Governance and risk management – Guidelines 27 to 35;
  • Disclosure – Guidelines 36;
  • Supervisory reporting – Guidelines 37 to 56; and
  • Transitional provisions – Guidelines 57 to 62.

EIOPA has asked the National Competent Authorities of the member states of the European Union to confirm whether they are complying, or intend to comply, with these Guidelines by the end of May 2016. No doubt, the UK will comply in, or almost in, full.