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20 November 2013

EIOPA/Montalvo: Making a difference for Europe and its citizens

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Montalvo discussed the review of the European System of Financial Supervision (ESFS).

The European Parliament (EP) recently came with their views on the review of the  ESFS, of which EIOPA is a part. I am very happy that the EP acknowledges our achievements. That helps to stimulate our work. But EIOPA is ambitious and our tasks are wide-ranging. We always want to improve our performance in all our areas.

Therefore, we need to keep developing the organisation and its quality. That’s the only way to ensure that we make a difference for Europe and its citizens. Our performance will further improve when we are granted:

  • The power to conduct inquiries into financial institutions, products or conduct;
  • An appropriate budget framework that will ensure the overall efficiency of the Authority, reinforce its operational independence and ensure the necessary human and financial resources.
  • We need an independent budget line that ensures EIOPA’s financing from the overall EU budget. We also need a degree of flexibility in the budgetary  framework in order to be possible to attract highly qualified staff, especially in critical areas for our mission going forward like the supervision and validation of internal models and the independent assessment of supervisory practices;
  • A role in the direct supervision of the largest cross-border insurance groups.
  • And it is essential to avoid the burdensome case-by-case discussions on EIOPA’s access to individual company information. Going forward, EIOPA should obtain access to the information included in the harmonised templates developed for Solvency II in a direct and efficient way.

EIOPA has already succeeded in positioning itself as a reference when it comes to regulatory technical work in the Union. Now we will focus strongly on enhancing its oversight role as a European supervisory authority. Implementing and monitoring regulatory requirements is even more demanding than coming up with regulation. We have a number of tools at our disposal, like peer reviews and issuing opinions. And, of course, we participate in Colleges of supervisors, platforms to discuss and solve issues relating to cross-border insurance groups. Their task will be to reach a shared view on a final assessment of the risk exposure of the group and its major solo entities. Colleges will also discuss and review the progress of the application of the Solvency II preparatory guidelines.

Consistency and efficiency in supervision are also promoted by providing to National Supervisory Authorities, expert knowledge and practical resourcing support in the field of Internal Models. EIOPA will put stronger emphasis on the field of occupational pensions. We expect to implement our first technical standard on reporting of information of a prudential nature by national supervisors. Extensive advisory work will be performed for the IORP Directive. EIOPA will progress work on the creation of a Europe-wide approach to personal pensions, with a clear focus on the consumer protection perspective.

We will further develop and pursue our leading role in promoting transparency, simplicity and fairness in the market for consumer financial products and services. To identify risks and responses for financial stability purposes, we will monitor structural developments in the insurance and occupational pensions sectors, as well as risks related to macro-economic developments, firm behaviour and specific products.

Full speech


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