Hoban says Solvency II likely to start a year late

TOUGH new insurance industry regulation is highly likely to be brought into effect a year later than first planned, Treasury secretary Mark Hoban told an industry conference yesterday.

Hoban said European governments and insurance groups were broadly agreed that new Solvency II capital rules for insurers should take effect in 2014 rather than 2013.

“There is a broad consensus in Europe that firms will be required to comply by 2014, with some ‘soft’ implementation from 2013,” he told the Association of British Insurers’ Solvency II conference.

The date change had a mixed reaction from insurers, with some calling it an unnecessary delay after they had invested large amounts to ensure they were ready by the earlier deadline.

City watchdog the Financial Services Authority said in October it would assume a 2014 implementation deadline, but European authorities have not formally changed the start date.

Solvency II requires insurers to hold capital in strict proportion to the risks they underwrite, replacing national rules where capital varies according to turnover.