The document aims to ensure optimal supervision for insurance groups with international activities in the EEA and Switzerland.
The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority FINMA and the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Bern today.
The main objective of the MoU is to ensure optimal cooperation in supervision, in particular for insurance groups with international activities in the European economic area (EEA) and Switzerland. The Memorandum creates a formal basis for cooperation in the following areas: group supervision, assistance in the work of EEA and FINMA colleges of supervisors, action required in emergency situations, safeguarding financial stability by monitoring and assessing risks, interconnectedness and conducting stress tests.
The Authorities would like to emphasise that the Memorandum will not modify or supersede any laws or regulatory requirements in force and will not affect any arrangements under the MoUs that have previously been signed between FINMA and other national supervisory authorities of the EEA.
Anne Héritier Lachat, Chair of FINMA Board of Directors, said: "In light of the increased internationalisation of financial groups and financial products, international cooperation between supervisory authorities is gaining in importance. We are very interested in conducting an active and fruitful dialogue with key financial regulators. The MoU with EIOPA provides us with a very good basis to do so."
Gabriel Bernardino, Chairman of EIOPA, said: "This is the first Memorandum of Understanding ever signed by EIOPA. We are committed to pursue a constructive dialogue, effective cooperation and information exchange with FINMA. This MoU is an important step to reinforce the efficiency of supervision and to enhance consumer protection in an increasingly global insurance market."
Note for Editors
- European Economic Area (EAA) consists of 27 EU Member States as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway
- The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) is an independent state supervisory authority of banks, insurance companies, exchanges, securities dealers, collective investment schemes, distributors and insurance intermediaries.
- The European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) was established as a result of the reforms to the structure of supervision of the financial sector in the European Union. The reform was initiated by the European Commission, following the recommendations of a Committee of Wise Men, chaired by Mr. de Larosière, and supported by the European Council and Parliament.
EIOPA is part of the European System of Financial Supervision consisting of three European Supervisory Authorities, the National Supervisory Authorities and the European Systemic Risk Board. It is an independent advisory body to the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union.
EIOPA's core responsibilities are to support the stability of the financial system, transparency of markets and financial products as well as the protection of insurance policyholders, pension scheme members and beneficiaries.