Report boosts Bermuda’s bid to meet EU rules

By added on 11/09/2015

Bermuda has taken a step closer to complying with European Union equivalency rules, reports the Royal Gazette.

An updated report from the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) acknowledges substantial amendments to Bermuda regulations governing commercial insurers and reinsurers introduced by the Bermuda Monetary Authority (BMA) since EIOPA’s last report in March.

The European Commission decided that a further progress report was needed to help it make equivalence decisions later this year.

BMA CEO Jeremy Cox said: “Tremendous work has been achieved by the Authority’s equivalence-focused team — however, I also wish to thank representatives from industry, who assisted the Authority in charting an appropriate course for Bermuda by providing timely and meaningful feedback.

“Bermuda is a jurisdiction that believes in high standards of regulation and supervision, but also believes that the best way to achieve this is to ensure that the markets to which that regulation and supervision will be applied are given ample opportunity to comment on any proposed regime changes.”

The Island is looking to gain “third country equivalence” with the EU’s Solvency II regulations.

Achieving equivalent status with the tougher EU rules will mean that international insurers based in Bermuda will not be placed at a competitive disadvantage doing business in European Union countries.

Bermuda has already changed a number of regulations to fall into line with EU requirements, which include the definition of the requirement for a commercial insurer to have a head office on the Island and legal authority for new public disclosure requirements for commercial insurers.

Legislative amendments have also amended the existing economic balance sheets rules to expand the framework to life/long term insurers, made technical amendments to the Bermuda solvency capital requirement formula and spelled out financial condition public disclosure requirements.

Mr Cox added: “We welcome the published update and commend EIOPA for its efforts during a very busy time.

“We particularly wish to thank EIOPA’s equivalence committee, chaired by Edward Forshaw, who has had to conduct a very rigorous review.

“This takes time, discipline, patience and a willingness to challenge, all with a view to achieving a jurisdictional assessment that fairly represents the inner workings of the third-country supervisor — in this case the Authority.”