Friday, 9 August 2013

Insurance Europe on EIOPA's place in the European System of Financial Supervision

As a response to the European Commission's consultation on the new European System of Financial Supervision (ESFS) - you know, the one that gave birth to EIOPA and the other two ESAs - Insurance Europe have laid some home truths down in this questionnaire document regarding the performance of EIOPA to date, as well as problems they see on the horizon once Omnibus II gets through.

Due to the lack of transparency in much of the work performed by EIOPA to date (a by-product of their remit being squirrelled away in the Omnibus II dossier?), I found some of this comment very revealing from a body which I expected would be relatively pally with them. Specifically, I noted the following opinions;

  • That ESAs should not issue Guidelines that circumvent legislative powers - these generate blurred lines between technical matters (where their input is welcome) and strategic/political matters (where it is not). Precisely here that would leave EIOPA's Solvency II Interim Guidelines in their ideal world is another thing I guess, though they go on to say that the "...level of detail on the Solvency II implementing measures is alarming", and indeed were pretty vocal in their public response to them.
    EIOPA Guidelines - back door regulation?
  • That there is an absence of clear definition in EIOPA's materials around where Regulatory Technical Standards (RTS), Implementing Technical Standards (ITS) and Guidelines differ - going on to suggest that there is an element of "regulation by the back door" in the Guidelines issued to date.
  • Concern regarding the level of power left in EIOPA's gift to adopt RTS, citing as an example that EIOPA have brought back (as part of L3 consulations) a proposal to make external auditors review SFCRs - this proposal having already been jettisoned by the Parliament at L1!
  • Suggest that the Commission should have a vote in contentious decisions within EIOPA (the Commission attend in a non-voting capacity currently) 
  • A diva-esque rant (p12) about the quality of EIOPA's processes and outputs during consultations (lack of feedback, poor quality documentation), as well as suggesting that consultation participant quantums are overweight in academics at the expense of the industry.
  • That some of the membership of Insurance Europe would welcome qualified majority voting in the ESAs weighted by size (let me guess who!).
So without having been handed their full schmorgasbord of powers, EIOPA are already being lambasted for their use of them - tough break!

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