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financial services briefing - regulation - EY - Australia


Insurers face difficult choices

Market summary

European life and non-life insurers face important strategic decisions in 2012.Volatility and deterioration in macroeconomic and political factors are disruptingbalance sheets, consumers and investors. Unfolding regulatory initiatives willhave a pervasive infl uence on insurer operations. A mature insurance marketacross much of the landscape continues to make growth diffi cult to achieve.And consumer needs and expectations are rapidly changing. These forces arecombining to create considerable challenges for insurers seeking to improveboth top- and bottom-line performance. Those companies that have a deepunderstanding of these challenges, and respond with strategic solutions, willoutperform their peers.

Economic developments in Europe create signifi cant risks to insurer balancesheets and may result in a prolonged and stagnant organic growth environment.Fiscal imbalances that guided the downgrade of sovereign debt in weakerEuropean countries have adversely affected the balance sheets of numerousEuropean insurers and reinsurers. Possible sovereign defaults, which mayspread to other countries and sectors, could further reduce asset portfolios. Asudden spike in interest rates would further destabilize insurer portfolios andloss reserves, challenging the ability of insurers to remain competitive in themarketplace. Finally, wider recessionary conditions could reduce consumer andbusiness demand for insurance products and services, adding to the restrictionsin top-line growth potential.

Proposed regulatory changes transforming solvency and accounting standardswill affect insurers from both a capital management and operational standpoint.For instance, insurers will be compelled to rethink their business and productmix in light of the anticipated capital requirements. These looming regulatorychallenges will require insurers to support new reporting requirements withimproved data quality and possibly with overhauled fi nancial systems. Addinganother dimension to these regulatory pressures are customer protectionconcerns from the country level, which may further induce insurers to altertheir products and distribution.

Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA)

FATCA implementation guidance for participating FFIs

Desmond Teo, Associate Director, and Duncan Edwards, Executive Director, discuss FATCA's implications for foreign financial institutions. Read more

Asset managers preparing for FATCA: bracing for major changes

For asset managers, FATCA is not simply a compliance exercise; it’s one in a string of reporting requirements that are reshaping the industry at its core. Read more

Insurance Agenda - The impact of FATCA on the insurance industry

In this edition of Insurance Agenda, we confirm what FATCA means for life and general insurers; what concessions have been granted; and what insurers need to do now in order to become FATCA compliant. Read more
Summary of Singapore OTC derivatives regulation

The Monetary Authority of Singapore released two consultation papers. Our regulatory compliance table summarizes some points for key industry players (market operators and clearing facilities).
Regulatory capital framework for Singapore fund management companies

This serves to summarize the impact of the new MAS consultation paper on the risk based capital requirements of licenced fund management companies (FMCs).
CEO Report - Preparing for Stronger Super: will the industry be ready for this fundamental shift?

ASFA and EY, for the second time in 12 months, have worked together to survey the Australian superannuation sector to assess industry progress in preparing to implement the changes.
Tax Policy and Controversy Outlook - Asia-Pacific 2012

The pace of tax policy change, legislative and regulatory, continues to accelerate globally. Our regional reports provide you with clarity about the shifting tax landscape. See also Tax Policy & Controversy Quarterly Briefing, June 2012.
European IFRS Banking Conference May 2012 - Insights on accounting changes

Participants at our European IFRS Banking Conference looked at the issues arising from upcoming major changes to accounting standards and regulatory reporting requirements for banks.
Gender-neutral insurance

In 2010, the European Union ruled that the use of gender was contrary to the equal treatment between men and women and should not lead to individual differences in premiums and benefits. The new rules take effect December 2012. We explore the implications for insurers.

Member benefits

This edition includes the following benefits for our alumni members:

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