EC releases Omnibus II directive

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The European Commission released its "Omnibus II" directive proposal on 19 January 2011.   Omnibus II is designed to make Solvency II consistent with the new European regulatory architecture for financial supervision.  Although it's not intended to fundamentally review Solvency II, this directive will align the Solvency II directive with the legislative procedure introduced by the Lisbon Treaty.  This includes the process for draft technical standards produced by EIOPA (the new European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority) to be adopted by the European Commission.

The directive proposal contains a limited set of amendments to Solvency II. These amendments include:

  • The provision of more specific tasks for EIOPA such as ensuring harmonized technical approaches on the use of ratings in relation to the Solvency Capital Requirements
  • Extension of the implementation date by two months to ensure better alignment with the end of the financial year for the majority of insurance and reinsurance undertakings
  • Member states are required to apply Solvency II from 1 January 2013 (based on amendments to articles 309-311)
  • Enabling the Commission to specify transitional measures in certain areas if deemed necessary.  The directive also provides the maximum transitional periods (although these periods can be reduced in the transitional measures themselves)
  • Introduction of transitional measures for equivalence of third country regimes where there is a public commitment to converge to a Solvency II style regime

Please refer to the Commission's publications for more details: