A European Parliament vote on the legislation which underpins new rules governing Europe's insurance industry has been put back by a month, raising concerns over the timetable for implementing the system.
31 AUG 2012 | THE ACTUARY NEWSDESK: NICK MANN
The European Parliament revealed yesterday it had postponed a vote on amendments to the Omnibus II directive. The vote had been scheduled to take place on October 22 and will now happen on November 20.
Omnibus II has to be passed before Solvency II can be finalised. Solvency II sets out new capital and risk management requirements for insurance companies across Europe, as well as plans for a more effective supervisory regime for the industry.
The delay was confirmed on the Financial Services Authority website. 'We will continue to monitor developments over the coming months and consider any implications for our domestic implementation plan,' the regulator said.
It added that it would continue to work towards the previously-stated deadline for firms to implement Solvency II from January 1 2014.
However, Janine Hawes, insurance director at KPMG, said the rescheduling of the vote raised concerns over a potential slippage in the Solvency II implementation timetable.
'There is still a long journey ahead to finalise the rules once Omnibus 2 is approved, as the level two and three requirements will need to be consistent with the amendments made,' she said.
'Official comments suggest that the regulators are still aiming for a Solvency II implementation date of January 1 2014. However, it is becoming increasingly unrealistic to expect all insurers to be able to achieve this, especially as the final requirements for the determination of insurance liabilities remains unclear.'
She added: 'Companies need the certainty of having final rules in order to properly prepare for the new requirements. At the moment, there simply isn't enough time for everyone to do this properly.'
Hawes called for a clear indicative timetable for all the remaining steps required in adopting Solvency II rather than the 'drip-feed' of delays currently being seen.