The complexity and scale of the new rules will require regulators to become more hands-on in their dealings with firms, with an increased focus on on-site assessments. At present many regulators across Europe do not interact enough with the firms they supervise, according to Jan Parner, deputy director general at Finanstilsynet, the Danish financial supervisor.
Pan-European groups are especially frustrated by the lack of harmonisation across jurisdictions. Tobias Buecheler, head of group supervision and financial market regulation at Allianz, said the company's array of national supervisors "have different perspectives on how they execute [Solvency II supervision]" from a simple tick-box approach to a more intrusive assessment approach.
One specific area where insurers would value a consistent approach from supervisors is reporting. Eva Orre, Solvency II implementation manager at Sirius International Insurance Corporation, said: "We're looking for more guidance on how to interpret regulation on submitting reports. In different countries, they prioritise differently. We need clear guidance here."
Firms and supervisors alike are looking to the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (Eiopa) to provide a model of regulatory best practice for Solvency II. The authority is keen to dissuade individual national supervisors from developing local interpretations of the Directive's requirements, said Marjan Trobina, senior expert for Solvency II at Eiopa. "The role of colleges is to decrease the differences between cultural aspects of supervision and [Eiopa's] role is to improve the functioning of these colleges", he added.
The panellists also took a firm line against the introduction of unnecessary national specific templates, which some supervisors say they will introduce alongside the Solvency II mandated quantitative reporting templates (QRTs).
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