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BoE says UK insurers well capitalised ahead of new EU rules

Thursday, January 22, 2015 - 18:34
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European Union rules from 2016 to keep insurance companies stable will not be an excuse for regulators to ramp up capital requirements for insurers in Britain, a senior Bank of England official said on Thursday.

[LONDON] European Union rules from 2016 to keep insurance companies stable will not be an excuse for regulators to ramp up capital requirements for insurers in Britain, a senior Bank of England official said on Thursday.

The so-called Solvency II rules aim to make sure insurers such as Prudential and Aviva in Britain hold enough capital to honour policyholder commitments even when markets turn sour.

"The PRA believes the UK industry is in a good position," BoE executive director for insurance supervision, Paul Fisher, told a Westminster Business Forum conference.

"We are therefore not looking to use Solvency II as an opportunity to raise capital requirements across the board. We can't and won't gold plate," Mr Fisher said.

He also said the new regulatory regime in Britain and Europe would not look to fix firms' business models to be identical, nor to restrict the level of innovation across the market.

REUTERS