The European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) has published a work plan outlining the strategic direction of its activities over the next three years, from 2017 to 2019.
The strategy is set out in a single programming document (SPD), developed in accordance with European Commission requirements to enhance consistency and comparability across European Union bodies.
The SPD specifies the tasks EIOPA is mandated, and required, to undertake, as well as its strategic objectives and priorities for 2017.
It also sets out in detail the organisation’s revenues, expenditures, staffing and organisational structure.
EIOPA said it would continue to focus on three main priorities in financial services: enhancing supervisory convergence, reinforcing preventive consumer protection and preserving financial stability.
The regulatory organisation said: “Supervisory convergence is key in a period where effective implementation of Solvency II is both a challenge and an opportunity. EIOPA is committed to delivering quality regulation and supervision to further build and facilitate common European supervisory culture.”
EIOPA also said consumer trust in financial services, including insurance and pensions, needed to be enhanced further, and that it was targeting a range of measures as key contributors in achieving this.
A shift in EIOPA’s focus will be reflected by a stronger emphasis on convergence in the supervision of conduct of business.
Regulatory developments in this area will, among other areas, focus on good product oversight and governance, fairness and transparency, and reinforcing cross-sectoral consistency.
“Overall,” EIOPA said, “the focus on better and smart regulation will create more scrutiny on the regulatory agenda and will put more pressure on post-evaluation to access cumulative effects and unintended consequences. The review of Solvency II will be a critical project.”
It reiterated its ultimate goal of continuing to bring added value to European financial supervision and, consequently, contributing to financial stability, while addressing the needs of European citizens.
“Insurance companies and pension funds will continue to face a challenging economic and financial environment, with persistent low interest rates contributing to a search for yield behaviour,” said.
“Simultaneously, insurers and pension funds will be called to provide further funding to the economy and will play an important role in the emergence of a capital markets union.
“These developments call for an active and engaged supervisory community.”
The SPD can be accessed here