EU uses SII to shift insurers into infrastructure

EU uses SII to shift insurers into infrastructure

Insurers are attracting policymakers’ attention in the EU as lawmakers try to drive investment in long-term infrastructure projects needed to underpin the region's struggling economic recovery.

The European Commission will publish Solvency II updates for insurers today that will include lower requirements for investments in cross-border funds focused on lengthy projects, said Klaus Wiedner, head of the insurance and pensions unit within the commission’s department for financial services.

Last year, EU financial services chief Michael Barnier proposed that funds meeting minimum EU criteria on governance and strategy should be designated ‘European long term investment funds’ and are designed to increase non-bank financing for companies.

The funds would also be given a passport to market themselves throughout the 28-nation bloc.

“Obviously we want to make sure that there are no obstacles for investing in those kinds of funds, where we hope then the money will be channelled into those projects that we want to promote,” said Barnier in an interview with Bloomberg in early October.

Following today’s publication of the Solvency II Delegated Acts, Michaela Koller, director general of Insurance Europe said: “Insurance Europe welcomes the publication of the Delegated Acts, which are a vital part of the implementation of Solvency II."

"We are now examining them, paying particular attention to their treatment of long-term investments which, as well as impacting policyholders, could impact insurers’ abilities as the leading institutional investor to help fund European growth and provide market stability.”

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