8 June 2015News

Bermuda recommended for provisional Solvency II equivalence

The European Commission has recommended Bermuda for provisional equivalence with the Solvency II Directive.

This means that the insurance regimes of Bermuda (excluding captives), Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico and the US are one step closer to full equivalence with the European Directive.

In a delegated decision on June 5, 2015, the EC recommended the insurance regimes of Bermuda (excluding captives), Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico and the US for provisional equivalence with Europe’s Solvency II Directive.

The decision will now be reviewed by the European Parliament and the Council.

Jeremy Cox, chief executive officer of the Bermuda Monetary Authority (BMA), said:“This is good for Bermuda, but it is not the complete and final result we seek. The Authority has an unreserved commitment to achieving full equivalence with Solvency II.

“It is essentially a timing issue. The European Commission included Bermuda on this new provisional list of countries before the deadline for Bermuda’s submission on measures to be implemented for full equivalence.”

Earlier in the year, the European Insurance and Occupational Pension Authority (EIOPA) recommended Bermuda for equivalence, but with certain caveats.

“The Authority has been working aggressively on addressing those caveats and we are well on target,” said Cox. “Our submission for full equivalence is being reviewed as we speak and we anticipate a decision sometime between Q3 2015 and Q1 2016.

“The bar is very high for non-European jurisdictions yet we firmly believe that a pathway to full equivalence exists for Bermuda. Executives of the Authority met with members of the European Commission in Brussels just last week, and discussions were favourable. By the end of this month, we will have all remaining measures in place.”

He added that the announcement was by no means an end to the process. Further special reviews outside of the proposed reviews are also intended to take place.

Cox said: “Full equivalence will help expand the global market for risk transfer products and in turn widen the choice of capacity for the buyers of these programmes.”