Welcome to this edition of our Insurance Regulatory eBulletin, which aims to keep you updated with significant regulatory developments and their implications across the insurance sector.
I hope you and your families continue to be safe and well. By now we are all used to home-working but the novelty of virtual meetings is no doubt wearing thin! At least there seems to be some light at the end of the tunnel with the start of the easing of some of the lockdown restrictions. Last month I noted BDO had temporarily closing its offices. While, this unusual situation continues with no confirmed end in sight, we continue to operate and serve our clients as a fully-remote, fully-connected workforce.
May has again been a busy month on the regulatory front as a result of the implications of the COVID-19 on both prudential and conduct regulation and for financial reporting in general. The regulators in Europe and the UK continue to defer making and proposing new policy but continue to emphasise their focus on ensuring the insurance sector is both financially resilient and treats its customers fairly. COVID-19 now looks certain to be a historic event for the insurance industry in terms of both the claims quantum and its reputation.
This bulletin contains as much up to date regulatory news as we can gather. Inevitably, this may change as the current situation develops and we will aim to keep you informed in the future. Please do not hesitate to contact myself or your normal BDO contact if you have any concerns over any matter highlighted in this update. Stay safe and stay well and I hope you enjoy reading this latest update.
Download the May 2020 update
April has again been a busy month on the regulatory front as a result of the implications of the COVID-19 on both prudential and conduct regulation and for financial reporting in general. Whilst the regulators in Europe and the UK have relaxed making and proposing new policy they have continued to emphasise their focus on ensuring the insurance sector is financially resilient and treats its customers fairly. Both the PRA and FCA have issued their 2020/21 Business Plans which inevitably are affected by the current situation. Indeed, COVID-19 may well become a historic event for the insurance industry in terms of both the claims quantum and the industry’s reputation.
The Bank of England and the PRA continue to work closely with the FCA, HM Treasury and other central government bodies to support the measures to manage the impact of the Coronavirus outbreak. The FCA has stated it stands ready to take any steps necessary to ensure customers are protected and markets continue to function well.
We have gathered together in this update relevant information from EIOPA and the UK regulators and I hope this update is useful to you and your businesses at this time.
March has been busy on the regulatory front as a result of the implications of the COVID-19 situation for prudential and conduct regulation and for financial reporting in general. This bulletin contains as much up to date regulatory news as we can gather. Inevitably, this may change as the situation develops and we will aim to keep you informed in the future.
February has been a busier month than January on the regulatory front. Topically, the FRC has issued guidance to companies on reporting risks relating to coronavirus and climate change in their financial statements. EIOPA is consulting on elements of its Solvency II 2020 review and IBOR transition. It has also published its final guidelines on outsourcing. Data privacy has been highlighted during the month with the FCA admitting a breach and the FCA and ICO warning FCA firms on the issue of mis-use of personal data. The FCA has also issued its annual Sector Views which will inform its future supervisory priorities. For the insurance sector these highlight the continuing cultural misconduct risk in the sector.
2020 has started relatively quietly from a regulatory point of view. The theme of the month appears to be data and its use, with the PRA setting out its proposals for quarterly reporting of insurance data, the FCA revising its Data strategy and the Bank of England issuing a discussion paper on improving the timeliness and effectiveness of data collection from firms across the financial system. The FCA also issued an impact assessment on the extension of the SM&CR to the 47,000 solo-regulated firms which includes estimates for the one-off and ongoing compliance costs for individual firms and the sector as a whole.
2019 has seen some significant regulatory developments including the extension of the Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SM&CR) to all financial services firms. Brexit continues to cause some regulatory uncertainty (despite the election result) and may mean that there is more change to come. December saw a focus on operational resilience and the potential effects of climate change by the regulators. Both of these topics will continue to be a focus as we move into 2020.
A relatively quiet month from a regulatory perspective as ‘election purdah’ struck in the UK. There were some substantial enforcement proceedings announced by both the PRA and FCA.
A bumper month – particularly if you enjoy regulatory reading. EIOPA has issued an 878 page tome on its proposals for modifying the current Solvency II Directive and related regulations in 2020. The proposals include changes to the long-term guarantee measures, new regulatory tools for macro-prudential issues, recovery and resolution, and insurance guarantee schemes. There also proposed revisions to elements of freedom of services provisions, reporting and disclosure, and the solvency capital requirement. The PRA was busy updating various supervisory Statements relating to Solvency II whilst the FCA has been considering the effects of climate change, the changing nature of regulation and what machine learning might mean for consumers. The FCA also issued an interim report on general insurance pricing practices and its next steps in this area.
Another very quiet month on the regulatory front probably reflecting both the time of the year and the continuing uncertainty over Brexit. The FCA have been busy reminding firms of the need for appropriate Brexit planning and updating their SM&CR guidance. EIOPA has been considering cyber risk from both underwriting and operational risk perspectives and the PRA have issued a consultation on the Prudent Person Principle and finalised policy on liquidity risk management for insurers.
A very quiet month on the regulatory front probably reflecting the time of the year! I hope that you and our regulators have been enjoying your summer break. EIOPA has published a consultation on its Solvency II remuneration principles and issued its latest Risk Dashboard. The PRA have released the results of their work on proxy modelling and the FCA have issued a reminder to insurers of the end of the transition period for the Senior Managers & Certification Regime together with some lessons for implementation arising out of its review of the regime in the banking sector.
A busy month on the regulatory front from both the European and UK regulatory perspective. EIOPA has issued a series of consultations related to the 2020 Solvency II review and in particular on Solvency II reporting and disclosure and IDD implementation and on cloud outsourcing. The PRA has been looking at Solvency II remuneration policy and has published its findings. The FCA has been following its TCF agenda in particular considering Intergenerational Differences, vulnerable customers and travel insurance customers with pre-existing medical conditions accessing suitable travel insurance. The use of AI and related digital ethics has been considered by EIOPA and the FCA. The UK has a new Prime Minister and the Bank of England and the PRA / FCA have been tidying up the Brexit planning. Time for a rest – so if you are going away enjoy your holidays.
A relatively quiet month on the regulatory front from both the European and prudential regulatory perspective however, the PRA has issued its Annual Report, the FCA has been a little more active and has published some large enforcement fines relating to Bank of Scotland and Raphaels Bank. It has also issued its first Annual Perimeter Report.
To cope with the Brexit uncertainty, the FCA has confirmed the extension of the Temporary Permissions Regime and, both the PRA and the FCA, have made speeches indicating their hopes for the future of regulation post Brexit in the past month.
The PRA became the first regulator in the world to highlight its concerns for climate change on the economy and financial sector through its publication of a Policy Statement setting out its regulatory expectations on this topic.
Brexit continues to make the political headlines and the uncertainty of the outcome is reflected in the regulators’ preparations for a no-deal Brexit which have resulted in more guidance and statements during the past month.
There has been a flurry of activity from both EIOPA and the FCA around the continuing uncertainty of a possible no-deal Brexit.