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George Crooks of Wolters Kluwer Financial Services Comments on the Further Delay of Solvency II to 2014

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“Concern over the risks associated with an extended and asymmetrical transition to Solvency II from the start of 2013 has left the European Parliament with little choice but to postpone its introduction to 2014, and this decision would have been met with differing opinion within the industry. Firms that have already taken significant steps towards meeting the previous deadlines could have read the news with despondency due to the money currently being spent on preparing for January 2013. Those firms yet to have measures in place are likely to welcome the news, as they now have more time to prepare. But can any of these firms be certain that there will be no further complications?

The European Parliament announcement will most likely be of little comfort to the industry as the Solvency II directives outline that EIOPA is ultimately responsible for developing Solvency II, with the purpose of regulating the European insurance industry. Therefore, the industry needs to know EIOPA’s pronouncement on timelines in order to make high level decisions on how to plan ahead. If there is to be a delay, no matter how painful it might appear, it is imperative the situation clear to avoid firms drifting into different directions.

An official announcement by EIOPA will ensure that member states put the correct and appropriate mechanisms in place to enable firms in their jurisdiction to meet the appropriate regulatory requirements. Only then will insurance firms be truly certain about what is expected of them and by when.”

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