On 16 June 2009, Thomas Steffen, Chair, Committee of European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Supervisors (CEIOPS) wrote to Jorgen Holmquist, Director General, Internal Market and Services Directorate General of the European Union with regard to guidance received concerning the Solvency II project.

Steffen congratulated the Commission on the successful outcome of the Solvency II Framework Directive and agreed that the main lesson of the crisis for insurance is that a modern, risk-oriented regime such as Solvency II is indeed needed.

He went on to discuss the aim of CEIOPS to continue to work closely with the Commission and mentioned additional tasks that his organisation had taken on. These included, amongst others, Insurance Guarantee Schemes and Packaged Retail Investment Products.

He also mentioned the need for Level 3 Committees to adapt to the changes derived from the Larosière report and gave his assurance that his organisation would ensure that such changes would be made in due time.

Nevertheless, because of the demands of the workload on the CEIOPS secretariat, priorities will need to be set and this would have some implications regarding the structuring of its Solvency II advice to the Commission. In particular (and notwithstanding the Commission’s demand for the simultaneous delivery of a full picture of both levels) work on the drafting of Level 3 would be done as early as possible.

Finally Steffen underlined his organisation's willingness to foster a broad dialogue on different levels with both industry and the Commission which would not be restricted to just Solvency II. He also warned, in respect of the results of QIS 5 (Fifth quantitative impact study) that the expectation of a full participation rate (with more than 5,000 European insurers involved) would be over-optimistic, but nevertheless suggested mutual cooperation with the aim of achieving a "tremendous" participation rate.

View Letter to the EC regarding Solvency II, 16 June 2009