Wednesday, 1 August 2012

KMPG survey on Solvency II Board Training - "Do more!"

Been slack the last couple of weeks while doing my final preparations for the Isle of Man half marathon, which I "tore up" last Sunday in, errr, 1h 36m, coming in just ahead of Brian the Snail and Albert Steptoe.

On the basis that I'm now safe from potential Olympic requirements, I am left with plenty of time to blog while my multiple friction-related injuries heal...

Starting with KPMG's latest diatribe on Solvency II Board Training, an admirable attempt to put one of the darkest sheep into the spotlight - anyone who has dragged a Policy, Solvency II briefing note, draft ORSA Report or internal model justification paper through a Board or Board sub-committee will know that getting the membership to take Solvency II seriously is not a walk in the park (particularly when you have to also explain once a quarter why the go-live date keeps moving!).

There is therefore a "comfort in numbers" which one can draw from KPMG's survey (sadly no details on sample size), with an overriding message of "do more, immediately", in particular;
  • 80% of boards have received 15 hours or less of Solvency II training - I dare say in many cases this would be accumulated by tacking on Solvency II-related matters to the end of existing Board agendas over a 12-24 month period.
  • 57% have covered ORSA in their training
  • 30% have covered Use Test
  • 44% will be embedding training objectives into their director's PDPs
Outside of those "big hitters", some interesting gaps emerge;
  • 10% have not commenced training
  • Half have performed 1-on-1 training with execs (perversely, more have done 1-on-1's with NEDs at 56%!). My experience would say they are equally and entirely in need of bespoke training!
  • 35% have delivered training on IMAP itself, a pretty sobering number bearing in mind where we are in pre-application
  • Over 20% of respondents have nothing currently planned for training around Pillar 3 reporting (22% on the QRT/SFCR side, and 26% on the RSR/ORSA supervisory report) - to have not at least briefed on these matters at this juncture is remiss, bearing in mind the consults were put out last year!
  • Only a third have instigated a company-wide training programme
The section around training on the Internal Model however (p7) felt instinctively wobbly to me, with the FSA said to be "likely" to expect all directors to have a "good" understanding of the IM.

While KPMG have purloined the best bits of Article 120 (and 213 in the Level 2 draft) for the purposes of what good might look like, I would still argue that a "good" understanding is not even close to being defined from a national regulatory perspective in a manner that lends itself to effective training planning.
No doubt anyone in the IMAP space will find this useful, but you might want to check the sample size with KPMG in order to put any weight behind the conclusions if it prompts you to change programme priorities/budgets etc. Certainly an eye-opener regardless.

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