IMF official urges top priority for global insurance solvency standard

VIENNA, October 24 (Global Risk Regulator) – The world’s insurance industry and its regulators must make the development of an objective global standard for measuring insurer solvency a top priority, a top International Monetary Fund (IMF) official urged last week.

Jonathan Fiechter, the IMF’s deputy director of financial sector surveillance, told the world’s national insurance regulators that a standard for measuring solvency is needed to improve insurance industry transparency and to support a level regulatory playing field.

Fiechter acknowledged the task won’t be easy. Work by the IMF, the Washington-based international organisation for promoting global monetary co-operation and financial stability, has highlighted grave deficiencies in insurance supervision in many countries.

But the benefit of such a standard would mean at its simplest that regulators and the industry could talk in a common language about a vital aspect of bolstering insurer solvency and financial stability generally, Fiechter said. He was speaking in Vienna at the annual conference of the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS), the Basel, Switzerland-based organisation that represents insurance supervisors from some 180 jurisdictions.

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