On 16 February, EIOPA Chairman, Gabriel Bernardino addressed the European Consumer Protection on EIOPA's strategy to strengthen conduct of business supervision and on the challenges that digitalisation presents for consumer protection.

In relation to the implementation of the Insurance Distribution Directive (IDD), EIOPA has drawn-up specific criteria to assess whether inducements to intermediaries have a detrimental impact on the quality of services to customers. This criteria includes practices such as quantitative thresholds and upfront commissions. However, the EIOPA Chairman stressed that this criteria is not intended to be a prohibition on the receipt or payment of commission and EIOPA does not advocate for fee-based distribution model over a commission-based one.

As part of its work on the IDD, EIOPA has also developed a standardised template Insurance Product Information Document (IPID). The object of the IPID is to empower consumers, who might not otherwise read lengthy pre-contractual information, to compare different non-life insurance products and to make informed decisions. Mr. Bernardino stated that the implementation of the IDD would necessitate more effective supervision of insurance intermediation and to achieve this FMA's supervisory powers over intermediation activities should be reinforced.

Finally, Mr. Bernardino addressed the potential need to regulate and supervise how customer information analysis, "Big Data", affects the interactions of product providers with consumers. EIOPA are to hold a round table discussion on the topic of "Insurtech" in April 2017.

Mr. Bernardino's speech can be accessed here.