The supervisor cooperates and coordinates with involved supervisors and relevant authorities to ensure effective supervision of insurers operating on a cross-border basis.
Supervisors of the different insurance legal entities within an insurance group with cross-border activities should coordinate and cooperate in the supervision of the insurance group as a whole. Supervisors of different insurance legal entities which are not part of the same group may also need to cooperate and coordinate particularly where the insurers are connected through reinsurance treaties or when difficulties in one insurer may affect the market more generally, such as in resolution situations (see ICP 12 Exit from the Market and Resolution).
Supervisors may draw upon several supervisory practices to facilitate cross-border cooperation and coordination. These practices include the identification of a group-wide supervisor and the use of coordination arrangements, including supervisory colleges.
The group-wide supervisor is one of the involved supervisors and is chosen to lead group-wide supervision of an insurance group. The group-wide supervisor should facilitate and lead the cooperation and coordination between the other involved supervisors and engage them in the relevant supervisory decisions regarding the insurance group. The group-wide supervisor is ultimately responsible for delivering effective and efficient group-wide supervision. The other involved supervisors should provide the group-wide supervisor with information regarding insurance legal entities they supervise and otherwise participate in group-wide supervision. The procedures for systematic or ad hoc information exchange should be agreed with the other involved supervisors. The sharing of information by the group-wide supervisor and the other involved supervisors should be subject to confidentiality requirements (see ICP 3 Information Sharing and Confidentiality Requirements).
The undertaking of cooperation and coordination should not be taken to imply joint decision making authority or any delegation of an individual supervisor’s responsibilities. Supervisory decisions remain within the responsibility of each of the involved supervisors.
Supervisors wishing to determine whether they can recognise and rely upon another supervisory regime for the purpose of group-wide supervision and designation of supervisory tasks should carry out an assessment of the acceptability of the counterpart’s regime reflecting the level or objective of supervisory recognition sought. Supervisors may use different processes to conduct a supervisory recognition assessment. The form of recognition and the criteria used for assessment will vary depending on its purpose
When the assessment has been finalised, the decision as to whether to recognise the supervisor should be communicated to the subject of the assessment. If recognition is not possible, the areas where the criteria were not met should be communicated and the supervisors should discuss how recognition may be achieved in future. A process for reassessment could then be established.
Following recognition, the supervisor should periodically assess whether a recognised supervisor continues to meet the criteria for recognition.
The terms of supervisory recognition, as well as specific roles and responsibilities, may be set out in unilateral statements, bilateral agreements, or multilateral agreements.
The supervisor discusses and agrees with the involved supervisors which of them is the group-wide supervisor for cross-border insurance groups operating in its jurisdiction.
In principle, the home supervisor of the head of the insurance group should be considered first to take the role of the group-wide supervisor in accordance with its authority and powers in its jurisdiction. In some jurisdictions, the legal or regulatory system may include provisions which allow or require the designation of a group-wide supervisor.
- the location of the insurance group's head office, given that this is where the group's Board and Senior Management is most likely to meet;
- where the registered head office is not the operational head of the insurance group, the location where:
- the main business activities are undertaken;
- the main business decisions are taken;
- the main risks are underwritten; and/or
- the largest balance sheet total is located; and
- the involved supervisors’ resources, skills, authorities and powers in their jurisdictions.
When determining the group-wide supervisor of an IAIG, the involved supervisors should consider which supervisor would have direct powers over the Head of the IAIG (see ComFrame material under ICP 10 Preventive Measures, Corrective Measures and Sanctions).
- understands the structure and operations of the insurance group; and
- leads group-wide supervision, taking into account assessments made by the other involved supervisors.
Once identified, the group-wide supervisor should be responsible for coordinating the input of insurance legal entity supervisors in undertaking group-wide supervision as a supplement to the existing insurance legal entity supervision.
- chairing of the supervisory college (where one exists), or consider establishing one if not in place yet;
- determination of the scope of group supervision;
- leadership, planning and coordination of group-wide supervisory activities;
- aggregation of group-wide information and dissemination of the relevant information to the other involved supervisors;
- preparation and discussion of group-wide supervisory analysis;
- performing a group-wide supervisory assessment, including assessing group capital management, risk and solvency, risk concentration, intragroup transactions and group governance;
- coordination of information sharing procedures amongst other involved supervisors;
- decision making on group-wide issues in consultation with other involved supervisors, where relevant;
- implementation and coordination of decisions on group-wide issues including preventive and corrective measures and sanctions; and
- identification of gaps in supervision
The group-wide supervisor should take the initiative in coordinating the roles and responsibilities of, and facilitating communication between, the other involved supervisors. In carrying out its agreed functions, the group-wide supervisor should strive to act with the consensus of the other involved supervisors.
The group-wide supervisor should request information from other involved supervisors needed to fulfil its role.
The group-wide supervisor should make relevant information available to the other involved supervisors on a proactive basis and in a timely manner.
The group-wide supervisor functions as a key contact point for all other involved supervisors.
- the structure and operations of the group insofar as it concerns the insurance legal entities in its jurisdiction; and
- the way that operations of insurance legal entities of the group in its jurisdiction may affect the rest of the group
- actively participating in the group supervision process, such as that facilitated by a supervisory college;
- informing the group-wide supervisor and, if necessary, other involved supervisors, of material findings affecting their insurance legal entity that could affect entities in other jurisdictions;
- sharing all relevant information with the group-wide supervisor to assist with supervision at the group-wide level and discussing findings and concerns at the group level with the group-wide supervisor;
- analysing information received from the group-wide supervisor;
- cooperating in the analysis and decision making as well as implementation and enforcement;
- assisting the group-wide supervisor in carrying out the supervisory process at the group level; and
- identifying gaps in supervision.
- any granting and withdrawal of a licence;
- location of significant business;
- developments in the legal structure of the insurance group;
- changes in business model;
- changes to the Board or Senior Management;
- changes in the systems of risk management and internal controls;
- significant developments or material changes in the business operations;
- significant developments in the financial position and regulatory capital adequacy;
- significant investments in group legal entities;
- significant financial links;
- the transfer of risks to and from non-regulated legal entities;
- operational risk as well as conduct risk, including mis-selling claims and fraud;
- potential high-risk factors for contagion; and
- events which may endanger the viability of the insurance group or major legal entities belonging to the insurance group.
Other involved supervisors should request information in relation to the group for a timely assessment of an insurance legal entity located in its jurisdiction.
The group-wide supervisor discusses and agrees with other involved supervisors to establish suitable coordination arrangements for crossborder insurance groups operating in its jurisdiction.
Coordination arrangements, including supervisory colleges, are mechanisms to foster cooperation and coordination between involved supervisors with regard to the supervision of insurance groups, as well as to promo
The group-wide supervisor should initiate discussions with other involved supervisors about suitable coordination arrangements. Involved supervisors should seek a consensus on the most appropriate form of coordination arrangements.
The group-wide supervisor sets out the coordination arrangements in a written coordination agreement and puts such arrangements in place.
The scope of coordination arrangements will vary and should reflect the circumstances of the particular insurance group and involved supervisors.
- information flows between involved supervisors;
- communication with the head of the group;
- convening periodic meetings of involved supervisors;
- the conduct of a comprehensive assessment of the group, including the objectives and process used for such an assessment; and
- supervisory cooperation during a crisis.
The supervisor discusses and agrees with involved supervisors whether to establish a supervisory college for cross-border insurance groups operating in its jurisdiction, and if so, how to structure and operate the supervisory college.
- the nature, scale and complexity of the cross-border activities or intra-group transactions are significant and associated risks are high;
- group activities or their cessation could have an impact on the overall stability of the insurance markets in which the insurer operates; and
- the insurance group has significant market share in more than one jurisdiction (see Application Paper on Supervisory Colleges).
The group-wide supervisor, in cooperation and coordination with the involved supervisors, should carefully consider the structure of the supervisory college (for example, inclusive, tiered, or regional).
A supervisory college is typically comprised of representatives of each of the supervisors responsible for the day-to-day supervision of the insurance legal entities, including material or relevant branches, which are part of the group and, as appropriate, any supervisors of other material non-insurance entities.
- the relative size and materiality of the insurance legal entity relative to the insurance group as a whole;
- the relative size or materiality of the insurance legal entity relative to its local market;
- the level of risk in a particular insurance legal entity.
The structure of and membership in the supervisory college should be reviewed on a regular basis to reflect changing circumstances in the insurance group.
The purpose of a supervisory college coordination agreement is to establish a framework for the operations of a supervisory college. The agreement is not legally binding and does not create enforceable obligations from one supervisor to another. However, jurisdictions may be subject to an obligation to establish such an agreement.
- membership of the supervisory college – including the approach to participation of members in the college;
- the process for appointing a supervisor to chair the college (typically, but not necessarily, the group-wide supervisor);
- roles and functions of the supervisory college and of the members of the supervisory college, including expectations of the chair;
- frequency and locations of meetings (meetings should take place by telephone conference call or other means where an in-person meeting is not practical); and
- scope of the activities of the supervisory college, including ongoing information exchange.
Members of a supervisory college who are not signatories to the IAIS MMoU should enter into a similar long-term agreement covering information exchange and confidentiality, which could be included in the college coordination agreement.
The group-wide supervisor, in cooperation and coordination with the other involved supervisors, should establish the appropriate ongoing functions of the supervisory college and clearly allocate those functions among the involved supervisors to avoid unnecessary duplication of supervisory tasks and to ensure no gaps exist in the supervision of the group.
- providing access for involved supervisors to information and knowledge about the group and the environment in which it operates through information sharing;
- assessing group-wide risk exposures, financial position and regulatory capital adequacy and the group-wide corporate governance framework, including risk management, internal control and intra-group relationships such as intra-group transactions and exposures;
- understanding the material operations, solvency and liquidity needs of the material legal entities within the group;
- coordinating supervisory activities such as joint off-site monitoring or on-site inspections or review of one or more entities within the group or of a particular aspect of the group’s functions such as internal audit, actuarial, risk management or compliance;
- coordinating appropriate actions to ensure that the group and relevant entities within the group mitigate identified risks;
- forming special focus teams to evaluate areas of particular concern or importance to the involved supervisors, or to bring together the requisite expertise to examine an aspect of the group’s operations;
- providing a forum for involved supervisors to interact with the insurer’s group-wide Senior Management in order to, for example, inform Senior Management of an identified issue at an insurance legal entity that affects the whole insurance group; and
- regularly assessing the effectiveness of the supervisory college in fulfilling its agreed role and functions. The assessment should be organised by the group-wide supervisor and take into account input from the other involved supervisors and, as appropriate, legal entities.
Aside from group-wide issues, supervisory colleges may also focus on issues specific to insurance legal entities within the insurance group.
The group-wide supervisor establishes a supervisory college for the IAIG, which meets at least annually.
If a supervisory college does not already exist, one should be formed and its first meeting should take place in a timely manner after the identification of the IAIG.
- confirming the group-wide supervisor and the structure of the supervisory college;
- describing the scope of group-wide supervision including, where applicable, an explanation from the group-wide supervisor of its decision to exclude an entity from the scope of group supervision; and
- discussing proposed coordination agreements.
When an in-person meeting is not practicable, the meeting should take place by teleconference or other means.
- group-wide corporate governance framework;
- enterprise risk management;
- main risks and intra-group transactions;
- financial position; and
- regulatory capital adequacy and compliance with supervisory requirements.
When deciding on the topics to be covered in the IAIG’s supervisory college meetings, the group-wide supervisor should cooperate and coordinate with involved supervisors to ensure that matters pertinent at a legal entity level are appropriately raised.
The members of the IAIG’s supervisory college communicate and exchange information on an ongoing basis.
The members of the IAIG’s supervisory college discuss and assess a summary of the reference ICS prepared by the group-wide supervisor, as well as a summary of any additional reporting related to the ICS that has been reported at the option of the group-wide supervisor.
- a comparison with existing group capital standards or calculations that are in development;
- the extent to which material risks of the IAIG are captured;
- the appropriateness and practicality of the calculations required; and
- any difficulties in implementing the measure by the IAIG.
The purpose of the supervisory college discussing and assessing the summary of the reference ICS, and of any additional reporting, is to help refine the ICS.
The group-wide supervisor coordinates crisis management preparations with other involved supervisors and relevant authorities.
- to protect policyholders; and
- to contribute to domestic or international financial stability to avoid a potential adverse impact on the real economy.
- promote private sector solutions such as portfolio transfers and run-offs;
- minimise the need to use public support to protect policyholders;
- minimise disruptions to the efficient operation of the insurance sector across jurisdictions; and
- achieve an orderly supervisory response.
Supervisory actions in planning for crisis management should seek to secure early communication between involved supervisors and relevant authorities in order to maximise time for coordination and cooperation.
The group-wide supervisor should meet regularly with the other involved supervisors and relevant authorities to share and evaluate information relating to the insurance group and to analyse and assess specific issues (including whether there are systemic implications). These meetings may be held in conjunction with the supervisory college meetings or separately if no supervisory college is in place.
Supervisors should remain aware of potential contagion channels, conflicts of interest and possible barriers to coordinated action in a crisis situation within a specific cross-border insurance group (such as legally required transparency rules in the case of publicly listed companies or particular legislative requirements across jurisdictions).
Effective crisis management should ensure that preparations for and management of a cross-border crisis – including policy measures, crisis response decisions and matters of external communication – are coordinated, timely and consistent. Supervisors and other relevant authorities (eg ministries of finance, central banks, other financial sector supervisors and policyholder protection schemes) should exchange information to facilitate effective crisis management.
- group structure (focusing on legal, financial and operational intragroup dependencies, which may not be always available to the other authorities);
- inter-linkages between the insurance group and the financial system in each jurisdiction where it operates; and
- potential impediments to a coordinated solution to a crisis.
A supervisory college should plan in advance the process for cooperation and coordination during crisis situations in order to benefit from well-established information and cooperation channels and procedures should a crisis occur. The channels for communication with the head of the group, as well as other parts of the group, should be clearly established in case a crisis emerges. The group-wide supervisor should establish close communication channels with the group Board and Senior Management as well as Significant Owners.
The group-wide supervisor establishes a crisis management group for the IAIG with the objective of enhancing preparedness for, and facilitating the recovery and resolution of, the IAIG.
A crisis management group may be established under a different name so long as it fulfils the objectives of a crisis management group for the IAIG (IAIG CMG).
- the group-wide supervisor;
- the other relevant involved supervisors; and
- to the extent possible, relevant resolution authorities.
- the supervisory college’s coordination arrangements address recovery and resolution; and
- membership includes those authorities which would otherwise be members of the IAIG CMG.
- progress in coordination and information sharing within the IAIG CMG and with host resolution authorities that are not represented in the IAIG CMG;
- processes for recovery planning and resolution planning (where required) for the IAIG; and
- resolvability of the IAIG.
The group-wide supervisor puts in place a written coordination agreement between the members of the IAIG CMG.
- roles and responsibilities of the respective members of the IAIG CMG; and
- the process for coordination and cooperation, including information sharing, among members of the IAIG CMG.
The coordination agreement may take the form of a memorandum of understanding.
- Informs the involved supervisors as soon as it becomes aware of a crisis;
- cooperates and coordinates with the involved supervisors and relevant authorities to analyse and assess the crisis situation and its implications to reach a common understanding of the situation; and
- identifies coordinated, timely and effective solutions to a crisis situation.
The group-wide supervisor should coordinate the gathering and analysis of information, as well as coordinate supervisory activities to respond to the crisis.
- implications for policyholder protection in each relevant jurisdiction;
- whether the crisis is of systemic relevance and, if so, the identification of possible sources of systemic risk; and
- processes through which involved supervisors and relevant authorities can respond in a coordinated way.
Such cooperation and coordination takes account of the impact of the crisis on policyholders, financial systems and real economies of all relevant jurisdictions, drawing on information, arrangements and crisis management plans developed beforehand.
The group-wide supervisor coordinates with other involved supervisors and relevant authorities on public communication and communication with the insurance group during the crisis.
The group-wide supervisor and other involved supervisors, where practicable, share their plans for public communication among themselves and with other authorities to ensure that communication is handled in a coordinated and timely way.
The group-wide supervisor considers when, and to what extent, to communicate with the insurance group and the insurance legal entities that are part of the group, through their respective insurance legal entity supervisors.