"Insurance and Pensions reloaded" - the 7th EIOPA Annual Conference

22 November 2017 — Alexandru CIUNCAN
The 7th EIOPA Annual Conference takes place today in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. A review of the current supervisory covergence issues and of the prospects of the Pan European Personal Pension Product are on the event's agenda, together with analyzing the ways in which regulation may enable innovation.

Top speakers are offering today in-depth analyses to over 350 participants from the financial services industry, European Union institutions as well as consumer representatives, consultants, academics, journalists and, representatives from national supervisory and governmental authorities.

See below the main highlights of the conference, as reported from Frankfurt by Alexandru CIUNCAN:

  • Insurance & Pensions Reloaded - this is the title of this years' EIOPA Annual Conference. The event focuses on supervisory convergence, the way in which the PEPP project can work for European citizens and on how regulation can enable innvovation
  • the European Commissions' PEPP proposal is a brave step towards ensuring a safe and transparent long-term reliable saving option. This is a true European product. The design of the default investment option will ensure the succes of the project. It is my personal option all contribution should be guaranteed only at the point of accumulation. 
  • We focus also on continuing to build the supervisory convergence in Europe. The EIOPA BoS recently approved a booklet covering this topic. It highlights the principles of high-quality supervision, with practical examples, best cases etc.
  • Day to day supervision remains a competence of national authorities. 
  • EIOPA regulations should allow us to strenghten supervision of cross-border business. It is fundamental that NCAs are operationally independent 
  • Conduct of business requirements of IDD and PRIIPs are about to be implemented. POG and Conflict of Interest rules will definitely require that NCAs put in place adequate supervisory mechanisms.
  • In 2018 BigData will be the subject of a EIOPA thematic review. Innovation hubs that were set-up in Europe and cyber risks will also be in the focus of EIOPA. 
  • What worked in the past will not necessarily work in the future.
Valdis DOMBROVSKIS, Vicepresident, European Commission
  • Insurance and pensions markets are fundamental to the European economy
  • EIOPA is now shifting its attention from regulations to supervision. This will help EIOPA promote supervisory convergence
  • EU-label PEPP products will unlock savings currently idle in low interest rates deposits
Sarah GODDARD, Secretary General, AMICE-Association of Mutual Insurers and Insurance Cooperatives in Europe
  • We are big advocates of proportionality 
  • The common message from the industry is that we all want good intelligent supervision but one-size-fits-all is not intelligent
  • We are all a part of the European family so we've all got our different way of doing things. EIOPA role is being at the top level, providing the structure etc. 
Frank GRUND, Chief Executive Director, BaFin-General Federal Supervisory Authority
  • All NCAs are a very important part of EIOPA and we have been working together
  • We are expecting too much from supervisory convergence, as there are many differences between national regimes
Bernhad KAUFMANN, Chief Risk Officer, MUNICH Re
  • The main obstacle towards supervisory convergence are political ones, as Europe is not one country
  • EIOPA clearly has its role and in tasks in overaching tasks. 
Patrick HOEDJES, Head of Oversight and Supervisory Convergence Department, EIOPA
  • I still see a lot of room for improvement from the supervisory convergence point of view
  • I am very surprised that 44% of the audience voted that the biggest challenge to establishing supervisory convergence is the one-size-fits-all approach from an European perspective
Francois VILLEROY DE GALHAU, Governor, Banque de France
  • France is the second biggest insurance market in Europe after the UK
  • There are several kinds of innovation that can lead us to rethink insurance and pensions: - institutional innovation (well-balanced supervisory framework now in Europe, review of the ESAs, progress towards an European resolution mechanism) and - economic innovation (need for a "Financial Union for investment and innovation" etc.);
  • The PEPP is an avenue to develop pan-European products
  • The insurance sector can bring stability and protection. This has always been "le Raison d'Etre" of all insurance companies.
Josep CELAYA GONZALEZ, Chief Innovation Officer, MAPFRE Group
  • We are an industry in transformation and this transformation is pointing towards IT systems
  • Most InsurTech disruptors are focusing on a part of the insurance value chain, mainly distribution
  • We are very worried about cyber risks
Monique GOYENS, Director General, BEUC - The European Consumer Organisation
  • Consumers don't get up in the morning thinking about buying insurance
  • I would advice against teaching insurance in schools
  • The biggest scare of consumers is BigData. People do not understand what is happening with their data
  • The beauty of innovation is disrupting existing business models. That's what benefits consumers
Christopher OSTER, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, Clark Germany
  • Consumers don't understand why they can not do all their insurance online as they do with the banking
  • They will agree to share their data if they get an advantage out of it; they need to see the value in sharing.
Katja WURTZ, Head, Consumer Protection Department, EIOPA
  • BigData means big changes, which are definitely here to stay
  • Huge changes for consumers are going to happen
  • Supervisors should facilitate innovation but still make sure that there is a high-level of protection for consumers
  • We have too little understanding of what the data captured for underwriting means. Better research into the data is one of the big challenges of the industry.

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