Friday, 4 October 2013

Solvency II, 2016 and "Quick Fix 2" - Let the music play...

So despite my best baiting at the start of the summer, it has taken until this week for the big news regarding Solvency II to emerge, namely that, via Quick Fix 2, a layer of formality is likely to be given to the year 2016 as the "go-live" date by the European Commission, provided this draft Directive gets safe passage. Apparently, assurances were given by the co-legislators (p3) that this should be enough time to get it done.

Let's have a look at what exactly has been pushed out, and by whom;

Commission - statement from Michel Barnier
- "The Commission [on 2nd Oct] at my request put forward a draft Directive postponing the application date of the Solvency II Directive to 1 January 2016"
- Current trilogues are "progressing well" and an agreement between the co-legislators is "within reach", which seems to tally with Gideon's report from last week - the Council's "state of play" meeting is still scheduled for 15th October, which being prior to that last trilogue meeting, may help all parties.
- Mr Barnier "...has always wanted rapid application of Solvency II", in case anyone thought otherwise.
- EIOPA's LTGA report is an "excellent" one, in case anyone thought otherwise.
- Postponement done "...only after obtaining assurance from the Council and the Parliament that they would not further change this new application date of Solvency II"

- Apparently KPMG reckon that the industry is breathing "...a sigh of relief", while PwC reckon the date set is indicative that Omnibus II will be settled "...ahead of the Parliamentary elections in 2014". Deloitte's finest highlights that the extended transposition period (effectively doubled) will aid NCAs in giving permission to arbitrary things such as day-one model applications, USPs etc.

- Insurance Europe don't like it! Still seen by them as an "ambitious timetable", which will lead to a "...significant increase in costs for the industry", which makes one think that the "sigh of relief" heard by KPMG was their own relief at securing two more years of advisory cash...

How much scope is there for something to go wrong now, given the benevolence/pragmatism of the Commission in granting this two year kick-on? Chris Finney covers that off here, most pointedly with the fact that a number of the co-legislator top-dogs giving their "assurances" may have gone to pastures new well before 2016.

PS Programme Managers and CFOs - Try not to laugh or cry at point 4 on the draft Directive document - "The proposal has no implication for the EU Budget".

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