Regulators Told to Provide Flexibility as COVID-19 Bites

The European Union’s regulatory authority has told national regulators to provide insurers and reinsurers with additional flexibility over reporting deadlines amid growing disruption from the COVID-19 pandemic.

European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) has issued Recommendations addressed to national competent authorities on supervisory flexibility regarding the deadline of supervisory reporting and public disclosure in light of the Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic.

In a statement it said: “EIOPA has issued these Recommendations so that undertakings can concentrate their efforts on monitoring and assessing the impact of the Coronavirus/COVID-19 situation as well as ensuring business continuity during these difficult times.

“The Recommendations aim to offer operational relief in allowing for delays in reporting and public disclosure in the following cases:

  • Annual reporting referring to year-end occurring on 31 December 2019
  • Quarterly reporting referring to Q1-2020
  • Solvency and Financial Condition Report referring to year-end occurring on 31 December 2019

“The Recommendations also identify the current situation as a major development and therefore highlight the need for insurers to publish appropriate information on the effect of the Coronavirus/COVID-19 in the published information.”

EIPOA added it remained in close communication and cooperation with the other European Supervisory Authorities and the European Systemic Risk Board, as the outbreak continues to cause disruption to households and businesses.

“It is increasingly clear that the outbreak is having significant consequences for the global economy, including financial services,” it added. “Insurers are likely to face progressively difficult conditions in the immediate future, both in terms of navigating challenging market conditions and in maintaining operations, while taking steps to protect employees and customers.”

EIOPA added: “It is particularly important that insurers are able to maintain the services to their clients. In this sense, insurance companies should be ready to implement the necessary measures to ensure business continuity.

“In order to offer operational relief in reaction to coronavirus, national competent authorities (NCAs) should be flexible regarding the timing of supervisory reporting and public disclosure regarding end 2019. EIOPA will coordinate the specifics of the approach.”

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