Securing Solvency II equivalence will benefit Bermuda in the long term, say reinsurance execs in year-in-review

23-12-2016

Securing equivalence with Solvency II represented a major achievement for Bermuda in 2016 and one the year will be remembered for as the Island will now continue to reap the rewards of this in 2017 and the future.

That was the sentiment of a number of Bermuda executives asked by Bermuda:Re+ILS to describe what they felt were the most important events of 2016 and the pertinent topics of 2017. The full range of comments from these executives can be read here.

Arthur Wightman, insurance leader at PwC Bermuda, and Matthew Britten, insurance partner at the firm, said that the achievement underlined Bermuda’s robust regulatory regime and rewarded the proactive approach of the regulator in recent years.

‘Bermuda’s regulatory leadership was underscored in 2016, when Bermuda became one of just two non-EU jurisdictions to win full equivalence under Europe’s Solvency II Directive regulating re/insurers.

Bermuda’s Solvency II equivalence is expected to boost market share even further. And because of the Island’s foresight, our leading captives sector remains exempt from Solvency II regulation,’ they said.

‘The designation helps Bermuda to continue to stand apart from its rivals and maintain its competitiveness as a domicile. Bermuda’s commercial insurers conduct significant business with Europe and the designation ensures that Bermuda’s insurers and reinsurers retain access to EU markets and provides them with a significant competitive advantage.’

Kathleen Reardon, CEO of Hamilton Re, added: ‘The Solvency II accomplishment affirmed Bermuda as a market dedicated to meeting international requirements at the highest level and put re/insurance companies with operations in Bermuda on an equal footing with their EU counterparts.’

Leila Madeiros, senior vice president, deputy director and corporate secretary at the Association of Bermuda Insurers and Reinsurers (ABIR), said the significance of the implementation of Solvency II in Europe should not be underestimated but that the industry should expect further tweaks.

‘While it may have seemed a very long-winded process of more than seven years, the actual start date of implementation is a testament to a dedicated project that involved thousands of man hours and pages of rules and regulations and millions more in financial resources. The fact that it launched despite the numerous stops and starts is monumental,’ she said.

‘The critics may point to the continued lack of convergence of the regulatory framework across all of Europe but this is the first year and it was the expected norm to anticipate teething problems and issues with national jurisdictions still trying to implement within their sovereign context. In the coming months and years as the Solvency II regime comes under review, we can anticipate further tweaking of a regulatory system that will have had the benefit of a couple of years of full implementation.’

Senior executives from companies including PwC, Brit, the ABIR, Hamilton Re, Hiscox Re and the Bermuda Monetary Authority participated in the examination of 2016 and look forward to 2017. To read the full transcript of their thoughts and comments, please click here.

PwC Bermuda, Bermuda, Insurance, Reinsurance, Solvency II, Regulation, EU, Europe, Hamilton Re, ABIR

Bermuda Re