International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This Detailed Assessment of Observance on the Insurance Core Principles on Switzerland analyzes that the insurance industry in Switzerland is well developed having among the highest insurance penetration and expenditure per capita in the world. The sector is dominated by a few players writing significant international business. The life sector is dominated by two players, responsible for 54 percent of the business and the top 10 life insurers account for 97 percent of the market. The industry has weathered the 2008 crisis well; however, the current low interest rate environment is affecting the sector. The lack of availability of Swiss government bonds to match long term liabilities of life insurers and pension funds could be a source of vulnerability. The long-term nature of the liabilities of life insurers and pension funds could in principle be matched by investment in Swiss government securities. Supervision focuses on ensuring sufficiency of liquid assets to meet policy liabilities. Policyholders have priority claims over the tied assets. In addition, robust solvency requirements ensure there is enough capital to safeguard the insurers’ financial soundness under adverse conditions.
The financial sector in Liechtenstein provides primarily wealth-management services, including banking, trust, other fiduciary services, investment management, and life insurance. The establishment of the Financial Market Authority (FMA) as the unified, independent regulator in January 2005 is a huge step for the financial services industry. The FMA and other authorities have been successful in implementing most of the recommendations provided in the earlier 2002 IMF assessment. The authorities and the industry continue to make significant efforts to strengthen the antimoney laundering regime, though there is still work ahead.
This report on the offshore financial center program contains technical advice and recommendations given by the staff team of the International Monetary Fund in response to Liechtenstein’s request for technical assistance. It provides detailed assessment of observance of the Basel Core Principles for effective banking supervision, implementation of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) Objectives And Principles Of Securities Regulation, and observance of the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) core principles. It also provides the methodology for Assessing Compliance with Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism Standards, endorsed by the Financial Action Task Force.
This report summarizes the assessment of Liechtenstein's compliance with internationally accepted standards for the regulatory and supervisory arrangements of the financial sector. It provides detailed assessments of Liechtenstein’s implementation of international supervisory and regulatory standards relative to the Basel Core Principles (BCP) for effective banking supervision, International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) core principles for insurance Supervision, the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) Objectives and Principles of Securities Regulation, and Financial Action Task Force Recommendations for antimoney laundering and combating the financing of terrorism.