Insurers slate new solvency rules as plead for clemency

City A.M. Reporter
NEW rules governing solvency in the European insurance industry are the right way to go, but insurers should not be punished for bankers’ misdemeanours in the crisis, leading insurance executives said yesterday.

Unlike banks, insurers did not pose a systemic risk to the economy and should be spared special taxes and stiff regulation of capital levels that some politicians want imposed on the financial sector, said senior members of the Geneva Association, an international insurance and risk management think tank.

“We don’t have anything against regulation, even tight regulation, but it has to be right regulation,” Geneva Association chairman and Munich Re chief executive Nikolaus von Bomhard said at the think tank’s 37th general assembly in Zurich.

“Bank taxes are strictly not for us. Including insurance wouldn’t be fair or commensurate,” he said.

The Geneva Association was founded in 1973 and comprises 80 chief executives from the world’s leading insurance and reinsurance companies.

“We need comprehensive financial regulation but let’s not put the insurance and banking industries in one bucket,” said Michael Diekmann, chief executive of Allianz, Europe’s biggest insurer.