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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
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.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This technical note reviews the institutional arrangement and supervisory practices for the insurance and securities sectors in Malta, focusing on supervisory effectiveness. The legal powers and supervisory objectives of the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) are clear and in line with international standards. The MFSA has adequate legal authority to discharge its supervisory responsibilities and to take the necessary preventive and corrective measures to protect the public interest. Clearly established legal gateways for information sharing facilitate supervisory coordination and cooperation between the MFSA and relevant supervisors/authorities, domestically and internationally. For the avoidance of doubt, the MFSA has proposed amending the MFSA Act to explicitly include the promotion of financial stability and financial market integrity as one of its key functions. Stable funding and full autonomy over the recruitment process are needed to support the MFSA’s operational and financial independence. Recognizing the scope for harmonizing and enhancing the current sectoral risk-based supervision frameworks (RBSF), the MFSA is developing an integrated RBSF.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This Technical Note on Insurance Sector Regulation and Supervision provides an update and an assessment of the development of regulation and supervision of the Polish insurance sector since an assessment concluded in 2012. The note focuses on key issues, with reference to international standards but without presenting a detailed assessment of Poland’s observance. The supervision of intermediaries has also been strengthened in line with a 2012 Financial Sector Assessment Program recommendation. The Solvency II changes appear well-embedded, without significant exemptions or transitional arrangements. With limited long-term guarantee business, life insurers have currently no need for the special measures adopted for such business in many EU countries. However, the recent emergence of the first Polish financial conglomerate, which is headed by an insurer, poses supervisory challenges. In respect to the selected other areas of the insurance framework that were reviewed, the findings highlighted strengths in the approach, with some scope for further development.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This paper reviews observance of Insurance Core Principles in Indonesia. Insurance regulation and supervision have been remarkably improved since the establishment of the Financial Services Authority (OJK) and the enactment of the new Insurance Law. However, the assessment has identified a significant number of shortfalls in observance with the Insurance Core Principles. Some deficiencies are owing to the lack of effective group regulation and supervision of insurance groups. Although OJK has implemented regulations related with risk management and group capital, intragroup transactions are not well taken into account. It is recommended that OJK should improve the effectiveness of supervision. Thematic reviews of reserving practices will encourage more conservative reserving.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This paper presents an assessment of the observance of IAIS (International Association of Insurance Supervisors) insurance core principles in Turkey. During the last five years, the government of Turkey has made a significant effort to improve regulation and supervision of insurance and to improve adherence to international standards. The efficiency of information reporting, insurer monitoring, and supervision has greatly increased. Solvency tests have been strengthened. Reserving and investment practices have been improved. Improvements have been made in international cooperation and information exchange. However, major regulatory and supervisory challenges remain for Turkey to increase confidence in the sector and benefit from its continued growth.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This paper discusses findings and recommendations of the Report on Observance of Standards and codes for Ireland. The Central Bank of Ireland (CBI) is the integrated financial supervisor in Ireland. As the primary regulator of the Irish financial system, CBI has overall responsibility for the supervision of insurers and insurance intermediaries authorized in Ireland. The authorities need to address the significant challenges faced by CBI in attracting and retaining supervisors and to enhance the CBI’s independence. CBI is also advised to review the supervisory risk appetite underpinning Probability Risk Impact Supervisory System, including potential reputational risks.