Thursday, 5 July 2012

FSA on Technical Provisions - "The question bank" part 1

The FSA have already publicly stated (about halfway down) that internal model applications will not get a final decision before applicants have the tyres kicked on their Technical Provision calculations, though like one of a hundred Solvency II-related Damoclesean swords, the precise nature of that kicking was beautifully unclear.

Happily, they have released a technical provisions question bank which, while not necessarily departing much from the line of questioning that an EV auditor might take, at least brings some clarity to the level of granularity required to commence this work (appreciating that Julian Adams also stressed in that speech that he wants to review based on the YE 2012 balance sheet).

As you will see, it is GI-related only at this point, with a Life version to follow next week. Neatly, they are already aligned to the L1 and L2 text, which should make any compliance checking aspects of the work more robust for firms.

Luckily I am too handsome to be an TP Actuary (?), but at first glance, the lines of questioning are extremely flabby to say the least (lots of "How do you do x", and references to "materiality", "proportionality" and "significance"), all of which point towards a rather subjective and painful administrative exercise for the first line to go on top of a similar "tell us what you think" exercise when populating the internal model application template.

Is it feasible to expect the regulator to consume this level of subjectivity around how one arrives at their technical provisions when, in their own words (p10), "proportionality" means focusing IMAP activity around the 300-or-so regulatory requirements (of which the TP-related L1 articles do not feature)? Not convinced that this method of condensing data is a bad idea as such, more that I'm not certain what the guys at the Wharf can do with it!

Interestingly, they note that they are "aligning" their TP review work with Lloyds of London - not sure entirely what this means, but would guess it means the syndicates are guinea pigging on behalf of the rest of the applicants, which probably suits the industry just fine!

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