During a speech given by Gabriel Bernardino (chairman of the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (“EIOPA”)) at EIOPA’s second annual consumer strategy day, it was indicated that EIOPA welcomes the European Commission’s proposal to introduce a revised Insurance Mediation Directive (“IMD2”) in order to improve the retail insurance markets and promote a more level playing field. Mr. Bernardino made the following supplementary comments:

  • it is important that IMD2 creates a regulatory regime for the retail insurance market that can be supervised effectively at national and European levels, bearing in mind the wide variety of existing structures at a national level for supervising insurance intermediaries;
  • while the professionalism of intermediaries should be reinforced, IMD2 should respect proportionality and give full consideration to existing market specificities such as a diverse range of distribution channels at national level and any related costs and benefits;
  • the existing insurance mediation directive could be significantly improved by the introduction of:
    • a separate article on conflicts of interest,
    • a general “duty of care”, and
    • a general duty to act honestly, fairly and professionally in the best interests of clients (which should take into account the specificities of the intermediary distribution channel); and
  • intermediaries should be required to systematically identify and manage conflicts of interest, with disclosure of remuneration being required in the same manner as for insurance undertakings.