Monday, 18 August 2014

ORSA - Institute of Risk Management special interest group

Of course while I spent the last couple of months topping up my tan in, errrrr, the Isle of Man, some of the guys in the UK and further afield have been building up an endeavour-flavoured sweat on some of the more malleable elements of Solvency II preparation.

Raining 'Mann' - Glorious Manx summer
The IRM as ever have kept the ball rolling, in particular hosting an ORSA session last month. While you can pick your way through the guest speaker presentations for ideas and comfort (one company specific, one consultant generic, and one which S&ST/RST fans might like as a sense check), I was much more interested in the attendee survey.

A whopping 34 replies came in, via which the attendees have delivered a reasonable ORSA landscape mock-up, which may help some of you get matters shuffled in your priority lists, given where your peers claim to be.

I noted in particular;
  • ORSA Process overwhelmingly run by the Risk functions (over 90%)
  • Just over half going for annual frequency, the rest (who responded) naturally more frequent - doesn't instinctively feel representative, but not all of the smaller firms would send someone down to this!
  • Around two-thirds have their "Reports" at 50 pages or less - if we assume that by "report" we mean Supervisory as well as Internal, the PRA won't be too chuffed with that given their comments at the December industry seminar.
  • Only a third have submitted draft ORSA Reports to the PRA and received feedback
  • Coverage of emerging risk appears to be an area which not only do respondees think is lacking, but has received critical feedback from the PRA
That half have used external consultants in their ORSA work to-date is certainly no surprise. I'd be worried if that consultancy had more than a year's dust on it though, so think hard before you start submitting your 2014 gear!

FTSE Insurers and Solvency II costs - quick round up

So I'm back to work after a well earned pit stop back home. I'll start with a summary of all goings-on in the Solvency II world over the summer using the following complex schematic...

Solvency II implementation costs to insurers, having experienced feast and famine over the last 2 years, will be firmly back on the bean counters' agendas now the finish line is in sight. In the past I had mopped up the 2013 financial year end here, the 2013 interims here, and 2012's full year here, so there is plenty of numbers out there for those interested.

I've therefore taken a quick look at some of the UK interim reports out over the last couple of weeks, just to see what costs/lobbying elements are included. It has been pretty dry going, which may reflect analyst fatigue on the matter more than insurer ambivalence, but I'd flag the following;

- Costs which are "mostly" Solvency II at £41m for the half year
- No substantive comments on current legislative position

- Costs of £14m for the half year, against £20m for all of last year
- Amusingly classify Solvency II expense as "One-off non-operating costs"!

Standard Life
- "...expect [their] capital position to remain strong following implementation"
- No reference to costs

- Implementation costs (broken out into p10 of this IFRS supplement) of £11m for half year, versus £13m for the comparable half-year, and £29m for all of 2013
- "...preparations are well advanced"
- Backwards in coming forwards over the likelihood of model approval and valuation assumptions (p17)
- Domicile change still left dangling (p24)

Old Mutual
- "...well positioned" for Solvency II, though "...continue to experience a degree of uncertainty"
- Nothing on costs

Legal and General
- "...expect the final outcome on Solvency II to result in a lower Group Solevncy Capital ratio" than existing EC. They stress in their accompanying presentation and in Nigel Wilson's speech that their existing EC is not Solvency II capital!
- Indication on  p17 of the Analyst presentation notes where L&G and the ABI have potentially fallen out (hence their recent divorce)
- Nothing on costs