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International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
The South African insurance sector is large, complex, internationally active, and competitive. Supported by high penetration and density of insurance products, the insurance sector has grown to account for 18 percent of the financial sector in South Africa. The industry hosts an unusually diverse range of business models, including traditional participation focused models, bank-led conglomerates, asset management focused groups, and technology driven new entrants. Even among large insurers, risk profiles vary significantly, which is unique relative to other major insurance markets. Most large insurance groups are actively expanding their business both regionally and globally.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
The regulatory framework for insurance supervision in the United Kingdom is sophisticated and the authorities are leaders in supervisory techniques. Observance with the Insurance Core Principles (ICPs) is very high compared to peers with 17 ICPs observed and only 6 out of 24 ICPs determined to be largely observed and 1 partly observed.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This note provides an update and assessment of developments in insurance supervision since 2014. It is part of the 2020 Financial Sector Assessment Program (FSAP) for the Hong Kong SAR (HKSAR) and draws on discussions there from September 10 to 24, 2019. It has not been updated for the impact of recent global events associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. The insurance sector is large, especially long-term (life) insurance, highly international and has been growing steadily. The long-term market is amongst the world’s largest, particularly by penetration (premiums to GDP). Growth has been supported by the popularity of savings products, including sales of policies to Mainland Chinese visitors (MCVs), although these have declined from their peak. The general insurance sector, though comprising many more companies, is relatively small and spread over many lines. The authorities have identified scope for growth in protection policies as well as opportunities for captive and specialty lines related to China’s Belt and Road Initiative. Tax incentives have supported the recent successful introduction of new annuity and health insurance products. Although foreign-owned companies account for a large share of business, the HKSAR is the home of three major domestic groups operating internationally.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This note presents the systemic risk analysis conducted for the Republic of Korea in the course of the 2019 Korea FSAP. It comprises a forward-looking solvency analysis for banks, insurers, and pension funds, a liquidity stress test for banks, and an assessment of network and interconnectedness for a wide range of financial sector entities and their ties to the real economy. Various structural characteristics of Korea’s economy and its financial system informed the features and focus for its forward-looking risk analysis. They include Korea’s strong export orientation, limited diversification, and its key role as a node in regional and international supply chains. Korea’s financial system has grown by 40 percentage points of GDP since 2013, enhancing the importance of a deep financial sector analysis as conducted through the FSAP. Mortgage insurance schemes are widely used—which was reflected in the way the risk assessment for banks was conducted. Korea’s life and non-life insurance sector is large, highly concentrated and saturated. Fintech developments keep accelerating, in terms of its Open Banking system and e-money providers. Demographic developments in Korea are among the most adverse world-wide, implying a continuous drag on demand, downward pressure on interest rates, financial firms’ income, and hence their capitalization unless they will be altering their business models.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
Denmark’s insurance sector is highly developed with a particularly high penetration and density in the life sector. Traditionally, work-related life insurance and pension savings are offered as a combined package, and life insurance companies dominate the market for mandatory pension schemes for employees. The high penetration explains the overall size of the insurance sector, which exceeds those of peers from other Nordic countries and various other EU member states. Assets managed by the insurance industry amounted to 146 percent of the GDP at end-2018, compared to 72 percent for the EU average.
Peter Windsor, Jeffery Yong, and Michelle Chong-Tai Bell
The paper explores the use of accounting standards for insurer solvency assessment in the context of the implementation of IFRS 17. The paper is based on the results of a survey of 20 insurance supervisors. Overall, IFRS 17 is a welcome development but there will be challenges of implementation. Not many insurance supervisors currently intend to use IFRS 17 as a basis for solvency assessment of insurers. Perceived shortcomings can be overcome by supervisors providing clear specifications where the principles-based standard allows a range of approaches. Accounting standards can provide a ready-made valuation framework for supervisors developing new solvency frameworks.