At a workshop in Brussels on 31 January 2013, Chairman of EIOPA, Gabriel Bernardino, expressed his views on the current challenges in revising the insurance regulatory framework, particularly with regard to IMD2 and Solvency II. He also remarked on some of the ways to achieve further consistency of EU regulation and supervision. In relation to IMD:

  • He welcomed the review of the Insurance Mediation Directive and the publication of the Commission’s proposal to recast the existing Directive;
  • He stated that EIOPA supports the Commission’s objectives of making retail insurance markets work better and promoting a more level playing field by, for example, extending the scope of the Directive to include direct sales by insurers;
  • He recommends certain amendments to IMD2 in relation to (i) the transparency of remuneration, (ii) comparison websites, (iii) the definition of “advice”, (iv) freedom to provide services/freedom of establishment, (v) cross-selling and (vi) insurance PRIPs.

In relation to Solvency II:

  • He acknowledges that challenges, including the effects of the financial crisis, are still creating uncertainties on the final design and calibration of Solvency II;
  • He explains that EIOPA has taken a number of steps in preparing for Solvency II, including the launch of the long-term guarantee assessment and the planned introduction of Guidelines to prepare supervisors and firms for the new regime;
  • He emphasises the importance of ensuring consistency of supervisory practices and states that EIOPA intend to develop a Supervisory Handbook to foster the implementation of a more consistent framework for the conduct of supervisors.

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