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Solvency II one big step closer


FRANKFURT, Germany—The Committee of European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Supervisors, the body that will advise the European Commission on what form its planned new capital adequacy regime Solvency II should take, has issued a new quantitative impact study to help it finalize its proposals.

The new study, QIS3, is intended to help the committee decide on the final capital calibrations that should be used under Solvency II and should also provide the first real indicator of the level of capital that will be required for individual companies and the market as a whole.

Europe's insurers and reinsurers have been given until the end of June to complete the latest spreadsheets and questionnaires that will help CEIOPS work out how capital levels should be best calculated.

The committee conceded that it is now working under a "tight schedule" because the European Commission has set itself a target of July to publish a draft directive on the new capital adequacy regime. It said that it would not therefore be unhappy if some insurers submitted only partial answers to its questions.

Under the latest study, CEIOPS has provided specifications for how the eligible elements of capital should be assessed based on some recent thinking within the European Union, it said.

CEIOPS said that the goals of QIS3 are that it would provide: further information about the practicability and suitability of the calculations involved; quantitative information about the possible impact on the balance sheets, and the amount of capital that might be needed; information about the suitability of the suggested calibrations for the calculation of the solvency capital requirement and a minimum capital requirement; and information about the effect of applying the QIS3 specification to insurance groups.

CEIOPS noted that the final decision on the exact technical provisions and capital requirements will be made by member states but said that the QIS3 results would provide stakeholders with "valuable information" about the likely impact of Solvency II when it finally hits the statute books across Europe, expected some time after 2010.

"CEIOPS strongly encourages all E.U. insurance and reinsurance undertakings to give their contribution to this exercise, which represents a major step in the development of the new solvency regime," stated the committee.