Innovation, technological developments and the emergence of new market participants are radically changing the financial sector.Read more
Solvency II: General notes
Solvency II is the new, risk-based supervisory framework for the insurance sector that came into effect on 1 January 2016. The framework consists of the Solvency II Directive (2009/138/EC), its implementing regulation technical standards, and Delegated Regulation.
The European Commission published the Solvency II Delegated Regulation (Delegated Acts) on 17 January 2015. The Delegated Regulation sets out important information and requirements, regarding adoption of the balance sheet, determining own funds, capital requirements, the internal operations requirements, internal models, reporting and group supervision under Solvency II.
In addition to this, the Solvency II framework has been fleshed out in the EIOPA technical standards and guidelines. The technical standards primarily concern procedures and processes and will come into force immediately after publication by the European Commission. The EIOPA guidelines provide further details to the Solvency II supervisory standards, which the national supervisory authorities are required to incorporate in their regulatory frameworks (by way of a comply-or-explain procedure). DNB imposes all EIOPA guidelines and implements them on a national scale by means of the Policy Rule on Application of ESA Guidelines.
The Solvency II guidelines are embedded in Dutch law in the Financial Supervision Act (Wet op het financieel toezicht - Wft) and its subsidiary regulations. Implementation of the Solvency II Directive at the national level has been effectuated through the Act implementing the Solvency II Directive, the Omnibus II Implementation Act and the Decree implementing the Solvency II Directive and Regulation. These laws and regulations have now been finalised and published (see below). The Decree implementing the Solvency II Directive and Regulation also provides further details of the new Solvency II Basic regime for insurance companies that do not come under Solvency II.
Structure of the Solvency II framework
Solvency II is based on three interconnected pillars:
- Pillar 1 focuses on quantifiable risks and related provisions and capital requirements.
- Pillar 2 focuses on risk management and operational management of insurance companies.
- Pillar 3 focuses on the requirements applying to public disclosure of information and supervisory reporting.
Pillar 1 includes a standard model for the calculation of the solvency capital requirement (SCR). As an alternative, Solvency II enables insurance companies to apply internal models, subject to specific conditions.
All insurance companies that are part of a group are considered as a single economic unit. Consequently, they are subject not only to individual supervision but also to supplementary group supervision.
In-kind funeral services insurers are not governed by the Solvency II Directive. With a few exceptions, the same applies to small insurance companies with gross annual premium income of less than EUR 5 million, or technical provisions of less than EUR 25 million. In Netherlands, an alternative regime has been developed for this group, referred to as Solvency II: Basic. This regime is built up along the lines of Solvency II, but is less extensive in scope, in view of proportionality.
European Solvency II legislation
- Level 1 Solvency II Directive as amended
- Level 2 Solvency II implementing rules (Delegated Acts)
- Level 2,5 Technical Standards
- Level 3 EIOPA Guidelines (final)
National laws and regulations implementing Solvency II
- Act implementing Solvency II Directive (Implementatiewet richtlijn Solvabiliteit IIAct implementing Solvency II Directive)
- Act implementing Omnibus II Directive (Implementatiewet Omnibus II-richtlijnAct implementing Omnibus II Directive)
- Decree implementing Solvency II Directive and Regulation (Implementatiebesluit richtlijn en verordening Solvabiliteit IIDecree implementing Solvency II Directive and Regulation)
- Policy Rule on Application of ESA Guidelines under the Wft (Beleidsregel toepassing richtsnoeren ESA’s WftPolicy Rule on Application of ESA Guidelines under the)
If you have any questions on this subject, please send an e-mail to: Solvency2@dnb.nl