On 14 April 2014, the Council of the European Union approved the Omnibus II Directive. This Directive was:

  • Agreed by the tri-partite authorities on 13 November 2013;
  • Published by the Permanent Representatives Committee of the Council on 25 November 2013; and
  • Adopted by the European Parliament on 11 March 2014.

The next step for Omnibus II is publication in the Official Journal. Publication will be automatic and it’s expected to occur in the next few days.

Omnibus II will be come into force the day after it’s published in the Official Journal. It is therefore clear (if the slightest doubt remained) that Solvency II will begin to apply to insurers and reinsurers domiciled in the European Economic Area from 1 January 2016. It’s also clear, from the final Omnibus II text and the drafts level 2 and level 3 texts that have started to emerge from the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority, that firms will have so much preparatory work to do next year that it will be difficult or impossible to get it done, in the right way and on time, unless they make the greatest possible use of the time available this year. We have therefore reached the “all hands to the pump” stage of this particular game.

More to follow…