On 13 December 2018, the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) published a report containing an evaluation of the structure of insurance intermediaries markets in Europe in accordance with Article 41(5) of the Insurance Distribution Directive (IDD). An annex giving a country-by-country analysis has also been published.

The report provides an overview of the status of the European intermediaries markets up to 31 December 2017, relating to data for the period from 2013 to 2017.

EIOPA says the evaluation confirms that the European insurance intermediation market is characterised by a very wide diversity of local distribution channels and different definitions adopted at the national level. Registration practices and reporting frameworks also vary amongst Member States, contributing to the diversity in terms of size of European intermediaries markets. This makes it difficult to draw conclusions at a European level.

The following key developments have been identified:

  • there are significant variations in terms of size of insurance intermediaries markets;
  • there has been a small decrease in the number of registered intermediaries at the European level. The causes for this range from more stringent regulatory requirements and the growth of alternative innovative distribution channels to such factors as the liquidation of some insurance undertakings;
  • in most markets, the decrease of registered intermediaries has mainly affected natural persons and those operating as agents;
  • a significant number of intermediaries are operating under Member State-specific categories;

between 2013 and 2017 the number of intermediaries' notifications to carry out cross-border business has increased. In many Member States they mostly concern passporting into neighbouring markets.