Bit of activity on the Pillar 3 front, with the PRA's industry working group publishing minutes from their 'recent' meeting (i.e. 2 months ago).
Rather than another bleat about late delivery in contravention of their Terms of Reference (bottom of last page!), let's enjoy the content for what it is, which is incredibly useful.
Data Collection and xBRL
A few basics were formally tabled, such as the PRA completing their vendor selection for a data collection system, and a note that the xBRL process chosen across the EU has "some commonality". Of particular interest is the commencement of a testing sub-group which has been charged with assisting the PRA in getting their technology up and running with sample data, and that work is apparently ongoing as we speak.
They have planned to allow selected submittors to dry-run their facilities in Q1 2015, before opening it up to all other firms obliged to submit material in the preparatory phase in Q2. Not sure how much lag this set-up allows, so let's hope they get happy before Christmas!
External Audit and Pillar 3
Another sore point has been the potential inclusion, on a short or long-term basis, of external auditors in the preparation and delivery of Pillar 3 reporting (raised on the Solvency II Wire last month). The PRA opine that external audit requirement guidelines "...are not scheduled to be included" in the forthcoming ITS, and that EIOPA has not decided when to issue public consultation on the matter, though they will at some point.
Clearly the PRA have ambitions to continue their existing requirements for the external audit of regulatory submissions, as evidenced by their preparatory phase approach to gaining comfort on Solvency II Balance Sheet components of all IM applicants and larger SF firms, which will pad out a few partner's wallets at the Big 4 (though perhaps for the right reasons).
Lobbying and questions
Effectively told the attendees to direct more questions to EIOPA rather than them, and in particular to wait for EIOPA's second set of ITS, due any day now. On the basis that ITS will (probably) be accepted by the Commission as delivered, the PRA are reminding firms that this is effectively the only window for the industry to bleat.
Board sign-off of QRTs
A huge bugbear across the industry was the implication, reinforced through the PRA's Pillar 3 Q&A document (Q20, last page), that June 2015 would see piles of QRT material tabled at Board meetings across the UK for them to formally approve. They confirmed at this meeting that the Board "...may choose to delegate aspects of the process for operational reasons" - CFO sign-offs all round!
Asset Data, and interaction between Asset Managers and Insurers
A slightly odd, but very relevant point was raised regarding Insurers interacting with their asset managers to ensure they get the right quantity and level of granularity in their asset data to populate the QRTs. The PRA are naturally concerned about this, given the shortening timeframe, and given that the asset management industry themselves appear to be making some voluntary efforts, it feels like the insurers have some work to do.