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Firms continue to be challenged by pillar 3 of SII

Insurers are extremely concerned with last minute requirements being made of them ahead of Solvency II implementation on 1 January, according to a survey from industry trade body Insurance Europe.

A poll that covered companies accounting for 90 percent of European insurance premiums found that respondents were worried that guidelines necessary to comply with pillar 3 of the regime would only be adopted by the European Commission this September - four months before Solvency II comes into force.

Pillar 3 lays out standards on disclosure and reporting and the final version of the quantitative reporting templates (QRT) are required in order to comply with it.

Insurers will need to post interim QRTs annually or quarterly, depending on what type of firm they are.

Other concerns included the possibility of a flurry of applications for approval being submitted at a time when supervisors' resources were already stretched, as well as extensive documentation requirements delaying the approval process of internal models. Nearly all respondents warned that supervisors' demands in this latter area were too burdensome.

Insurance Europe added that work to comply with further requirements set by member states was slowing down the implementation process, with several respondents reporting that their member state was "gold plating" Solvency II when transposing it into national law.

However, the federation said that a clear majority of firms were making good progress in implementing the first two pillars of Solvency II and that most insurers felt that risk management and governance had already improved through introducing the new regime.

Insurance Europe head of prudential regulation Igotz Aubin said that the progress towards implementing Solvency II made by European insurers was encouraging given the challenging time for the industry at present.

"While the industry shares the aims of Solvency II, policymakers and supervisors must also appreciate the significant burden which its implementation is placing on insurers," he said.

"The European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority and local supervisors should therefore avoid imposing last minute requirements and interpretations which add to that obligation," he added.

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