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Michel Barnier introduction date for the new directive put back from October 2012 to 31 December 2012

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Speaking on Tuesday 4 May in BXL at a hearing on the EU's Solvability II Directive (2009/138/EC) revising the surveillance system for insurance and re-insurance (see EUROPE 9887), EU Internal Market Commissioner Michel Barnier said that very few insurers' tax years end on 31 October and he therefore wants the introduction date for the new directive to be put back from 31 October 2012 to 31 December 2012 in order to bring it into line with the end of most insurance companies' tax years (31 December). The review of the Solvability II Directive will be part of the draft "Omnibus II" legislation expected to be unveiled in June 2010 to amend several pieces of financial services legislation to incorporate changes set out in the EU financial supervision package.


Barnier discussed the sensitive issue of balance in the new measures to ensure that insurance companies' capital requirements match the level of risk. After the summer break, the Commission will publish implementation measures to this end. Barnier said the rules had not yet been decided upon but people tell him the current system is imbalanced and the capital requirements are too great. He said the new rules should strike a balance between stronger solidity on the one hand and international competitiveness on the other. He urged insurance companies to take an active part in the consultation exercise on the fifth impact assessment (QIS 5) from August to November 2010. 


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