A big step forward for Solvency II - European Parliament approves Omnibus II

Ratification clears way for application of Solvency II from 2016.

The European Parliament formally confirmed and approved the compromise on Omnibus II at a plenary vote on 11 March 2014. This ratifies the agreement reached in November 2013 on how to solve the outstanding issues of long term guarantees and equivalence and marks the conclusion of the discussions on the Omnibus II directive.

The European Council will now officially adopt Omnibus II in the coming weeks. The official Omnibus II directive is then expected to be published next month, in April 2014

"The confirmation by the European Parliament today represents a very significant step towards implementation of Solvency II.  This clears the way to meet the current timetable for application of Solvency II from 1 January 2016," says Nick Kitching, Swiss Re's Head of European Regulatory Affairs. "Once the official Omnibus II directive has been published, Member States will need to update their national law by end of March 2015 to enable national supervisors to accept and approve internal model applications from 1 April 2015."

Attention now turns to finalising the Delegated Acts that provide detail on the application of Solvency II and Omnibus II. The Commission is currently conducting an informal consultation with Member States and the European Parliament and expected to adopt the Delegated Acts in July 2014. The European Parliament and Council will then have 6 months to object to the Delegated Acts before, if there are no objections, they become binding on member states. 

During the debate ahead of today's vote in the European Parliament, a number of MEPs noted the importance of ensuring that the agreement reached in Omnibus II is reflected in the Delegated Acts that are currently being finalised.

Swiss Re is actively engaged in the industry work on the Delegated Acts. The focus of the industry is on ensuring the Delegated Acts reflect the agreement on Omnibus II (particularly around long term guarantees and equivalence) and promoting recognition of infrastructure and long term investment.

Published 12 March 2014

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