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International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

With some traditional roles within the financial system shifting rapidly, the IMF finds itself keeping a closer eye on sectors once largely outside its purview. One such sector is the insurance industry, whose risk management and impact on overall financial stability were the focus of a chapter in the IMF’s April 2004 Global Financial Stability Report. Its findings, presented by moderator Hung Tran, Deputy Director of the IMF’s International Capital Markets Department, served as the basis for a June 30 Economic Forum on managing financial risk in the life insurance industry. Joining him on the panel were Charles Lucas (AIG); Grace Osborne (Standard & Poor’s), David Strachan (U.K. Financial Services Authority), and Keith Buckley (Fitch Ratings), who provided the perspectives of various industry participants.

International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
The insurance sector has significant potential for expansion and to contribute to economic growth as an important part of the financial sector. While the insurance sector has grown at 10 percent annually over the last 5 years, on average, and remains profitable with high solvency ratios, the insurance penetration and density are lower than other emerging markets. Nevertheless, the insurance industry has the potential to reach to much higher levels of insurance penetration. A few large conglomerate groups—composed of banks, insurers and investments funds—dominate the insurance sector. Conglomerate groups account for more than 75 percent of the market share. Reflecting very conservative regulations imposed by the Banco Central do Brasil (BCB) and the Superintendency of Private Insurance (SUSEP), the interlinkages between banks and insurers are limited. Nevertheless, material contagion may occur through a reputational channel, adversely impacting the profitability of the linked business.
International Monetary Fund
This technical note discusses key findings of the insurance sector stress tests for Switzerland. The results suggest that there are market risks inside some Swiss insurance entities that may need focused attention. In particular, a moderate correction in share and property values, with interest rates ending somewhat lower than the prior cyclical lows, could cause distress to five out of nine life insurers, two of 12 nonlife insurers, and two of nine health insurers that participated in the 2006 Swiss Solvency Test (SST) field tests.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This paper discusses findings of the Report on Observance of Standards and codes for Denmark. Denmark has a high level of compliance with the Basel Core Principles for Effective Banking Supervision. The Danish Financial Supervisory Authority (DFSA) has the appropriate legal authority to carry out supervision effectively, and its risk based approach has focused well on the key elements of risk within its banking system. Its powers and supervisory approach have evolved significantly since the recent global crisis, and the DFSA emerged as a proactive supervisor. Its overall supervisory approach is sound, and the compliance with the credit-risk and capital adequacy related principles is uniformly high.
International Monetary Fund
Israel’s Report on Standards and Codes for the financial sector is presented. The authorities take a proactive approach to supervision and correcting incipient problems, and regulations are generally up to date. The assessment of implementation of the Basel Core Principles for Effective Banking Supervision has been conducted in November 2011 within the framework of the Financial Sector Assessment Program Update for Israel. The Bank of Israel and specifically its Banking Supervision Department headed by the Supervisor of Banks is responsible for prudential oversight of banks.
International Monetary Fund
The report gives a summary of the detailed assessment report on the implementation of the Basel Core Principles for Effective Banking in the United States and its recommendations, securities and futures market regulatory, insurance regulation, Fixed Income Clearing Corporation -Government Securities Division (FICC-GSD) system, and other recommendations such as Depository Trust Company (DTC) against the Recommendations for Securities Settlement Systems (RSSS), the National Securities Clearing Corporation (NSCC) against the Recommendation for Central Counterparties (RCCP), the Fedwire Securities Service (FSS) against the Committee on Payment and Settlement Systems -International Organization of Securities Commission (CPSS-IOSCO) RSSSs as well. The U.S. authorities welcomed the Financial Sector Assessment Program (FSAP) and independent reviews, and appreciated significant undertaking associated with reviews in the wake of the crisis.
International Monetary Fund
This assessment of financial sector supervision and regulation for the Kingdom of the Netherlands—Aruba discusses its financial sector, which is primarily domestically orientated with limited offshore financial sector activity. The system for banking supervision and regulation in Aruba was found to be compliant or largely compliant with 19 of the Basel Core Principles (BCP). Aruba had improved its rules and systems, and was cooperating effectively with other jurisdictions on antimoney laundering (AML).
International Monetary Fund
The Republic of Tajikistan’s Financial System Stability Assessment and reports on the Observance of Standards and Codes are examined. The Tajik financial system is small despite recent rapid growth. Overall, banks remain well capitalized and liquid, but the brisk expansion of their loan portfolios is rapidly eroding capital buffers in a context where governance and supervision of the financial system raise concerns. The governance, regulatory, and supervisory frameworks for the financial sector should be strengthened. The key areas for the banking sector include licensing, remedial actions, and disclosure of significant shareholders and beneficial ownership.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This technical note focuses on issues in insurance supervision and regulation on France. France has a very high level of insurance penetration, particularly for life insurance. For each insurance company, a risk assessment is undertaken on at least an annual basis and is recorded in a supervisory review process tool. French insurance companies are significant users of the Volatility Adjustment (VA), with companies representing more than 90 percent of the technical provisions in the French insurance industry using the VA. The report discusses that French authorities should advocate to the relevant EU authorities to introduce a minimum number of independent members of the Administrative Management or Supervisory Boards, at least one-third. Autorité de Contrôle Prudentiel et de Résolution should review the intensity and frequency of on-site supervision and its relationship to off-site supervision. With several other meetings with insurance companies possible, some of these meetings may be close to be called as focused on-site inspections.