Brian Morrissey, Head of Insurance, and our insurance team have compiled a collection of KPMG's latest publications and articles which focus on developments in, and issues facing the insurance industry. Also included are recent publications from the CBI, EIOPA, and other European bodies.
KMS led by Alan Boyne (Partner, KMS) and Emer O’Brien (Managing Director, KMS) work with clients to deliver work programmes that require a project based response. The KMS model offers companies the benefits of an in-house (on-site or off-site) project team, without the need to maintain or hire such resources on a full-time basis. We are well placed to respond at short notice. We offer the following services:
Managed solutions brings together industry and sector specific subject matter expertise together with operational excellence and the necessary tools and technology to deliver successful outcomes for clients all within tight timeframes and agreed budgets. The KMS model can help you deliver value across a number of business areas including managing complaints and claims processes, providing suitably skilled resources to meet surge capacity, cost effective one off bulk policy reviews and repapering, E-discovery technology and support around data remediation programmes.
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Managed Legal Solutions
Effectively managing an inhouse legal department is increasingly challenging. There is constant pressure to respond to the organisation expectations, new legislation, increasing volumes of physical documents and electronic data coupled with the increasing use of technology and the challenges that need to be managed as a result. Leading in-house legal departments deliver value by building the organisation’s capacity to make better decisions. This allows legal teams to move up the value chain and to focus on acting as a strategic advisor to the organisation, delivering greater strategic and commercial value. We work with our clients to identify a combination of the right sourcing model, streamlined and standardised processes and enabling technology solutions to maximise efficiencies. In addition we offer a number of solutions including legal project management, outsourced solutions, bulk contract review and experienced resources to cover short term surges in activity within the legal department.
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The switch to remote working has posed challenges for most actuarial processes and many actuaries are still grappling with addressing those challenges on a daily basis. There is never a perfect time to engage in a process improvement initiative but, in this article, Brendan McCarthy (Director, KPMG Actuarial) and David O’Shea (Associate Director, KPMG Actuarial) suggest that insurance companies should leverage the lessons learned from the past few months and use them to make things better.
Now more than ever is the time for insurance firms to focus their efforts on identifying and assisting vulnerable customers. The impact of COVID-19 has resulted in the growth of the number of customers entering the category of vulnerable, as well as exacerbating the impact on those already considered vulnerable (e.g. those suffering from financial issues). The Central Bank of Ireland (“CBI”) has stated that insurance firms must have processes in place to engage with customers experiencing financial difficulties in the payment of premiums as a result of the pandemic. In order to ensure that vulnerable customers are treated appropriately, firms must embed their Vulnerable Customer Framework in their operations.
KPMG, led by Gillian Kelly (Head of Conduct Risk Services, KPMG Risk Consulting), can help ensure you have an appropriate Vulnerable Customer Framework in place to ensure that you are both identifying vulnerable customers and ensuring good customer outcomes once identified.
KPMG’s Audit Committee Magazine is designed to help keep audit committee members and non-executive directors abreast of developments in areas of corporate governance and related matters.
Two reports from the KPMG Audit Committee, led by David Meagher (Chairperson of Audit Committee Institute Ireland, KPMG Ireland), highlight the issues which audit committees and boards should keep in mind as they consider and carry out their 2021 agendas.
The impact and influence of Internal Audit Functions continues to expand and evolve, writes Patrick Farrell (Partner, KPMG Risk Consulting) and Claire Heeley (Managing Director, Risk Consulting).
With the backdrop of the wider economic and social challenges presented by an unprecedented global pandemic, the expectations of Internal Audit Functions continue to grow. In particular, for Internal Audit Functions to adapt to a changing risk landscape, they need to be agile in all aspects of the audit approach. At times, audit plans need to be flexed and the methodology and audit approaches adapted to a remote working environment.
2020 was a banner year for disruption to all industries. From the lasting economic impacts caused by the pandemic to the policy outcomes that a new US administration brings, 2021 will push financial services companies to mitigate risks as they accelerate online and digital technologies; innovate products, analytics, and systems; adopt long-term remote working practices; and expand their management of climate and ESG-related financial and non-financial challenges.
KPMG, led by Amy S Matsuo (Principal, KPMG US FS Regulatory and Compliance Risk) is pleased to share the report, Ten Key Regulatory Challenges of 2021, and help answer the question: What are the steps I can take now to prepare?
In January 2020, insurers were looking forward to a year of strong growth. COVID-19 quickly took the wind out of those sails. Confidence about the future has clearly sagged. Consider this: when KPMG International, led by Laura J Hay (Global Head of Insurance, KPMG International) conducted the annual survey of Insurance CEOs in January 2020, 65 percent expressed confidence in the growth of the global economy. Eighty-eight percent voiced confidence in their company's growth prospects.
Six months later, KPMG International again reached out to Insurance CEOs to see how their confidence had changed. The results suggest confidence in the global economy had been cut in half (to 32 percent). Confidence in their own company's growth fell by around 20 percent (to 71 percent).
It took a pandemic to force many insurers to speed up their digital agendas. Indeed, according to a recent global survey of Insurance CEOs conducted by KPMG International and led by Laura J Hay, COVID-19 has been the digital catalyst insurers so dearly needed.
The change has been nearly universal. Eighty-five percent of Insurance CEOs say COVID-19 has accelerated the digitization of their operations and the creation of next-generation operating models. Eight-in-ten (78 percent) say it has turbo-charged progress on the creation of a seamless digital customer experience. A similar number (79 percent) say it has brought new urgency to the creation of new business models and revenue streams.
As the full extent of the pandemic started to become clear, some companies turned to their creditors for guidance; others turned to the government. Insurers turned to their purpose.
According to a recent global survey of Insurance CEOs conducted by KPMG International and led by Laura J Hay, three-quarters of Insurance CEOs say their purpose provided them with a clear framework from which to make quick and effective decisions. Eighty-two percent say their purpose helped them understand their stakeholders' needs during the pandemic. More than half report they let their purpose dictate their stakeholder response.
COVID-19 has impacted every sector of the economy, and insurance is no exception. The pandemic has highlighted inefficiencies and created new friction points for carriers and customers alike - but the experience has also validated carriers' efforts to innovate and invest in a digital future. Insurtech is likely to play a vital, ongoing role in bringing digital innovation to the insurance sector overall. However, in the short term, many insurtech companies may face significant challenges.
Recovery and Resolution should be considered on a continuum - it is essential that both types of plans are effectively interlinked in order to maximise synergies and ensure a smooth transition from one phase to another. Ian Nelson (Head of Banking and Capital Markets, KPMG Ireland) and our Banking team discuss this in the following article.
KPMG’s experienced teams across member firms have a strong understanding of developing and implementing recovery plans by supporting a broad range of financial and non-financial institutions. The KPMG teams also have extensive experience in resolution planning support including the development of bail-in playbooks and data and reporting management.
The UK left the EU on the 31 January 2020, and with effect from midnight on 31 December 2020 the Brexit transition period between the UK and the EU ended. The future trade in goods or services with the UK (including Northern Ireland) will be provided in accordance with the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement.
The Government has enacted the Withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union (Consequential Provisions) Act 2020 (“The Act”). The Act, among other things in the case of insurance undertakings and insurance intermediaries authorised in the UK (‘firms’) that were exercising the “passporting” rights to carry out the business in Ireland, introduces the following:
In relation to European Economic Area insurers that have now lost their UK passporting rights, the position is as follows:
If a firm decides not to continue writing new UK business post-31 December 2020, the firm must stop writing new contracts of insurance in the UK and can run-off existing contracts for up to 15 years under the Financial Services Contracts Regime
The CBI has published the December 2020 edition of the Quarterly Insurance Newsletter. The newsletter discusses the proposals aimed at driving effective and sustained cultural change in Irish financial services by the introduction of the senior executive accountability regime, the increased importance of addressing uncertainty in contract wordings for insurance cover and a new section on sustainable insurance news and initiatives.
The CBI published the Governor’s, Gabriel Makhlouf’s, blog on monetary policy and interest rates in Ireland. The Governor discusses the cost of credit in Ireland over time, factors affecting retail interest rates and that new lending is safer. He concludes that interest rates in Ireland will continue to be different to those in other Member States of the euro area as a result of our different markets, legal systems, histories and legacies. Over time, the Governor expects that the gradual reduction in the pre-crisis vulnerabilities in loan books will continue to put downward pressure on interest rates for Irish borrowers.
The European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (“EIOPA”) has published its opinion on the 2020 review of the Solvency II Directive to the European Commission ("EC"). From a prudential perspective, EIOPA's view is that overall the Solvency II framework is working well. The proposals from EIOPA include the following:
EIOPA also recommends introducing a new process for applying and supervising the principle of proportionality. Further proposals relate to cross-border business, such as supporting efficient exchange of information among NSAs during the authorisation process. The opinion reflects the need to supplement the current micro-prudential framework with a macro-prudential perspective, including the introduction of specific tools and measures to equip supervisors with enough powers to address all sources of systemic risk.
In addition, EIOPA proposes establishing a minimum harmonised and comprehensive recovery and resolution framework and introducing an EU network of national insurance guarantee schemes. Alongside the opinion, EIOPA has published on its webpage a factsheet, background analysis and annex, and impact assessment. To complement the proposals set out in the opinion, EIOPA has published a report and annex covering the individual quantitative reporting templates at solo and group levels, to give stakeholders a full view of the future reporting and disclosure requirements.
EIOPA submitted to the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union and the EC its 2020, fifth and last annual report on long-term guarantee measures and measures on equity risk.
The results for 2020 show that 651 insurance and reinsurance undertakings in 21 countries, representing a share of 80% in the European market, use at least one of the following voluntary measures:
Consistent with the trends observed in last years, the availability of long-term guarantee products is mainly stable or decreasing across the European Economic Area. The European Supervisory Authorities have observed a decrease in the size and duration of guarantees.
EIOPA has published a consultation paper on a supervisory statement on Own Risk and Solvency Assessment (“ORSA”) in the context of COVID-19. An accompanying press release explains that EIOPA believes the current situation calls for an ad-hoc ORSA in cases where the pandemic impacts the risk profile of the undertakings materially. This is particular in cases where the performance of the regular ORSA has not allowed the undertakings to assess and take into account the impact of the pandemic. EIOPA will consider the feedback received, develop an impact assessment, publish a final report on the consultation and submit the supervisory statement for adoption by its Board of Supervisors. Comments can be made on the consultation paper until 15 March 2021.
EIOPA has published the findings of a peer review analysing supervisory practices relating to its decision on the collaboration of the insurance supervisory authorities. The peer review focuses on how national supervisory authorities (“NSAs”) approach cross-border insurance activities, how they exchange supervisory information and collaborate, how data is stored, and practices relating to portfolio transfers. EIOPA found differences in NSAs' approaches and practices, and as a result has issued 60 recommended actions to 26 NSAs with the aim of achieving greater supervisory convergence. The areas addressed include:
EIOPA expects NSAs to implement the recommended actions by Q4 of 2022 at the latest. As a follow-up, it will start to assess by the end of 2022 how NSAs have implemented the recommended actions.
EIOPA published a discussion paper that highlights challenges associated with the current non-life underwriting practices and options to ensure the availability and affordability of insurance products, in the context of climate change. EIOPA is inviting comments on the discussion paper until 26 February 2021 and will finalise its report in the Spring of 2021.
The discussion paper aims to highlight the challenges linked with short-term non-life contracts and annual re-pricing using past natural catastrophes events and the impacts of climate change on the premium, affordability and protection gap. The discussion paper also throws light on how insurers could address the protection gap issues in the context of climate change and contribute to climate change mitigation and adaption. The discussion paper presents a number of options to ensure availability and affordability of insurance in light of climate change.
EIOPA published a report presenting sensitivity of the climate-change-related transition risks in the investment portfolio of European insurers. The report explores current holdings of corporate bonds and equity that can be related to key climate-policy relevant sectors such as fossil fuel extraction, carbon-intensive industries, vehicle production, and the power sector.
The Solvency II regime helped insurers better align capital to risk, build resilience and enhance their risk management practices. Given current economic risks and high uncertainty, there is a need for insurers to preserve their capital positions in balance with the protection of policyholders and beneficiaries. EIOPA, therefore, recommends insurers to maintain extreme caution and prudence with their capital management. Any dividend distributions, share buy-backs or variable remunerations should not exceed thresholds of prudence and institutions should ensure that the resulting reduction in the quantity or quality of their own funds remains at appropriate levels to the current level of risk.
EIOPA has published the speech made by Gabriel Bernardino, Chair of EIOPA, at the fourth sustainable finance roundtable held on 16 December 2020. EIOPA stressed the importance for insurers and pension funds to manage sustainability risks as part of their risk management, as well as to contribute to reducing risks to sustainability for society.
EIOPA published updated representative portfolios that will be used for the calculation of the volatility adjustments to the relevant risk-free interest rate term structures for Solvency II. EIOPA will start using these updated representative portfolios for the calculation of the volatility adjustment end of March 2021, which will be published at the beginning of April 2021.
The Supreme Court has handed down its judgment on the issues on appeal from the High Court in relation to Business Interruption insurance in the context of COVID-19. It substantially allows the Financial Conduct Authority’s (“FCA”) appeal and dismisses the insurers’ appeals. This means that many thousands of policyholders who have cover should now have their claims for coronavirus-related business interruption losses paid. For further details please see the FCA dedicated business interruption insurance webpage.
The Prudential Regulation Authority (“PRA”) published the policy statement PS24/20 on the approach for publication of Solvency II technical information (“TI”) at the end of the transition period for Brexit. This confirms that UK firms and UK-based groups will have to use the PRA published TI for year end 31 December 2020 reporting.
In response to concerns around the operational challenges this change may pose, for the first 3 month-end publications starting 31 December 2020, the PRA will compare its TI to the one published by EIOPA and, where the difference is minimal (this is what the PRA expects), it will align its TI to the one published by EIOPA. This will allow firms more time to adapt systems and processes and avoid the burden of having to produce two sets of calculations for TPs for year-end reporting. This measure would, however, still only cover ‘relevant currencies’ for which the PRA would publish TI from 31 December 2020. For currencies for which the PRA does not publish TI, it will be the firm’s responsibility to propose TI that complies with Solvency II requirements and justify its approach to its supervisor.
The PRA published a letter outlining the 2021 priorities for insurance firms in the UK. The key focus areas for these supervisory priorities include financial resilience, credit risk, operational risk and resilience, LIBOR transition, and financial risks arising from climate change.
The PRA announced a delay to the proposed effective date set out in the consultation paper CP11/20, which covers expectations and guidance related to auditors’ work on the matching adjustment under Solvency II. The PRA’s expectations and guidance will not be effective for audits of the Solvency and Financial Condition Reports (“SFCRs”) with a 31 December 2020 reporting date.
The Bank of England (“BoE”) and PRA published a policy statement PS27/20 and Policy Statement 30/20 providing feedback to the responses to Consultation Paper 13/20 (UK Withdrawal from the EU: Changes before the end of the transition period) and CP 18/19 (UK withdrawal from the EU: Changes following extension of Article 50). The key updates are as follows:
Provisions of PRA Rulebook (EU Exit) instrument will also commence on Implementation period completion day, although a small number of changes will take effect at different time
The FCA published Policy Statement 20/17: Proposals to enhance climate-related disclosures by listed issuers and clarifications of existing disclosure obligations confirming the introduction of a new rule in Listing Rules (LR) 9.8 requiring the commercial companies with a UK premium listing (including sovereign-controlled commercial companies) include a statement in their annual financial report laying out:
This new rule will apply for accounting periods beginning on or after 1 January 2021.
The Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”) published a statement on the preparations required for firms post the transition period end (i.e. 11 pm on 31 December 2020) for a number of changes to the regulatory environment. This includes EU laws no longer being applicable and the end of passporting.
The firms need to be aware of the following:
Firms with passporting rights to ensure they will be able to provide services after the end of the transition period.
The PRA and FCA set out their expectations to help dual regulated and solo regulated firms apply the Senior Managers and Certification Regime (“SM&CR”) following the exceptional circumstances arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. Firms should be aware that some of the previously available provisions providing flexibility will end on 7 January 2021 and the regulators expect the rules to be applied as normal by then.
The EC has adopted a Delegated Regulation supplementing the Pan-European Personal Pension Product (“PEPP”) Regulation with regard to regulatory technical standards (“RTS”) specifying the requirements on information documents, on the costs and fees included in the cost cap, and on risk mitigation techniques for the PEPP. The draft RTS specify certain technical details of the PEPP regime. This includes specifying requirements relating to:
Risk mitigation techniques, including their objective, life cycling and the need to establish reserves, minimum return guarantees, and holistic assessment of risks and returns.
The International Association of Insurance Supervisors (“IAIS”) has published a report on Cyber Risk Underwriting, titled ‘’Identified Challenges and Supervisory Considerations for Sustainable Market Development’’. The findings in the report indicate that current cyber underwriting practices, while serviceable, are not optimal, due to issues surrounding the measurement of risk exposures. The nature of cyber risk and the complexity of supply-chains may lead to loss accumulation and it is not clear that current practices permit adequate assessment and limitation of this concern – particularly as regards to so-called “non-affirmative cyber coverage”.
The IAIS published its 2020 Global Insurance Market Report (“GIMAR”), which discusses the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global insurance sector from a supervisory perspective. The IAIS notes that the sector has remained both operationally and financially resilient despite the considerable financial market volatility in the first half of 2020. The most significant impact on the insurance sector was on the solvency and profitability caused by asset losses. However, the solvency ratios remained well over the capital requirements. On the liability side, the results vary on a case-to-case basis, depending upon the modules being used.
Future monitoring will focus on key vulnerabilities, including:
The 27th IAIS Annual General Meeting included panels on climate risk management in the insurance sector and on reducing the insurance protection gap. The panel on climate risk management explored the role of insurers and insurance supervisors in embedding the management of climate and environmental risks into business and supervisory practice.
In its most recent newsletter, dated November-December 2020, Issue 100, the IAIS focuses on COVID-19 and climate change risk. The IAIS developed an interactive dashboard providing IAIS members with an overview of key regulatory, supervisory and other financial policy measures taken by IAIS members across the world in response to COVID-19.
The IAIS has released a statement in support of the establishment of a Sustainability Standards Board as described in the IFRS Foundation Trustee’s Consultation Paper on Sustainability Reporting. The lack of a globally accepted framework for sustainability standards is one of the obstacles to disclosures that are comparable, reliable and of sufficiently high quality. Therefore, the creation of a Sustainability Standards Board under the IFRS Foundation would be an important step towards a globally accepted framework.
Every month KPMG Ireland’s IFRS team produces an update on the progress of the industry to date on the implementation of the new insurance accounting standard.
For more on any of the items above, or any Insurance-related queries, contact Brian Morrissey, Head of Insurance.