Stress test for EU insurers says European regulator

Next year, EU insurance companies face a "comprehensive stress test", the European insurance and pensions regulator said today. (Release)

Gabriel Bernardino, chairman of the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) told the European Parliament today that more consistent and centralised supervision, at a European level, of European firms was needed. Risk assessment, he said, will be a central part of the stress test.

With consumer protection and personal pensions a priority, EIOPA is focusing on "improv[ing] definitions", "transparency and disclosure requirements" and product regulation. Risks from low interest rates have prompted the 2014 stress test, and Bernardino underlined the authority's competency when it comes to investigating potential breaches of EU law.

Bernardino said of the regulator's role:

We need to take further steps to ensure better coordinated supervision at Union level. In this context EIOPA should be tasked with a centralized oversight role in the field of internal models and, as part of a step-by-step approach, consideration should be made to assign EIOPA an enhanced supervisory role for the largest important cross-border insurance groups.

EIOPA said it does not intend to publish the results of the stress test.