Monday, 22 September 2014

Central Bank of Ireland and ORSA - fancy a bunch of FLAORs?

So the Central Bank of Ireland went and knocked together an ORSA Reporting tool for the less complex end of the Irish Insurance industry, specifically the "low" and "medium-low" rated insurers. And to think I have spent 4 years railing at the consultancy and supervisory industries for catering for the big boys, while ignoring the immaterial...

2014 FLAORs
- a serious affair
The tool was released back in July, and while it (intelligently?) copy-pastes EIOPA's guidance and dissects most of those words into a set of obvious questions, there are some aspects which are very revealing in respect of where supervisory expectations for 2014's ORSA reporting and process development efforts perhaps are at the less material end of the industry.

They have evidently taken the approach that most large programmes will have used over the last 3 years, namely to deconstruct paragraphs in Directive/Delegated Acts/EIOPA Guidelines in an Excel spreadsheet, and pose them as questions. Not every firm's budgets would have stretched to accommodate even that level of analysis though, so I'm sure the CBoI's efforts have been warmly received to date.

For example, the following elements are very shocking to me, given our proximity to go-live;
  • No compulsion for ORSA Policy (and therefore process) to be documented and Board-approved in 2014 (2.3 and 2.4)
  • No expectation that the 2014 version assesses one's ability to continue past the 1 year horizon (4.8)
These elements are perhaps revealing as to supervisory planning for 2015 and beyond;
  • Asking when the Board approved the results and conclusions - likely to be hunting for evidence in minutes (2.2)
  • Asking which personnel/units have been briefed as to the ORSA results - is there a feeling that outside of EXCOM and control functions, the reports won't see the light of day? (3.4)
  • Highlight what they are really interested in, in the context of "overall solvency needs" quantification - risk measure, confidence level and time horizon, which feels proportionately light in focus given the detail in Article 262 of the Delegated Acts (4.1).
Some good elements include;
  • Uses of ORSA in decision-making process listed in 1.1 - some are directly lifted from EIOPA, but couple of other examples may help focus the mind (I would add that setting "risk limits" feel sloppy, given the legislation uses "risk tolerance limits")
  • Ask for a table to be populated with quantitative results for each risk category, but don't prescribe the category names, rather provide the legislative categories as examples - this is how it should be, especially for the smaller firms. (4.2)
  • No expectation that the "medium or long-term" capital is calculated at this point - the column provided is marked *OPTIONAL* (4.2) 
Whilst the data gleaned from the template they have provided may be a bit cumbersome, fair to say that CBoI's efforts will be welcomed by both the qualifying firms (as a pro-forma) and the larger firms as an INED guide.

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