Here we review recent GC Capital Ideas posts on developments in China’s insurance regulatory system.
Posts Tagged ‘Asia’
The average balance of payments in Indonesian reinsurance transactions over the past five years has been in a deficit of IDR5.65 trillion (USD455 million) per year. This has been a point of frustration for the Indonesian government. As such, the Indonesia Financial Services Authority (OJK) has instructed insurers to retain more risk and to reinsure more business with domestic reinsurers, including the recently-formed state reinsurer, Indonesia Re, to “improve and optimize capacity in the country.” The OJK has also encouraged all domestic reinsurers to obtain an international rating in order to improve competitiveness with foreign reinsurers. However, it is anticipated that high cessions to other unrated, domestic companies will increase credit risk charges and pressure capital adequacy ratios.
The China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC) is instituting sweeping changes through its three-tiered China Risk Oriented Solvency System (C-ROSS) framework that will dramatically impact how (re)insurers conduct business. It will strengthen capital requirements, risk management and transparency disclosures - bringing China in line with, and in some cases overtaking, global standards. The C-ROSS framework is similar to Solvency II: three tiers focusing on quantitative, qualitative and disclosure requirements.
Other countries, such as the Philippines and Indonesia, have instituted rules that may, conversely, impede the development of a healthy, profitable insurance market. The Indonesian regulator’s recent steps to reduce capital outflows, with a focus on reinsurance premiums ceded to international reinsurers, remain highly debated and will be explored in greater detail later. The Philippines, in addition to a risk-based capital (RBC) framework, has instituted a minimum paid-up capital requirement (starting in 2006 and revised in 2013) that increases every two years and will result in a PHP2 billion (approximately USD44 million) minimum threshold in 2020. This will put minimum capital levels in the Philippines well above those of more developed markets, including Australia, Japan and Singapore. The policy applies uniformly across the industry regardless of premium volume, line of business or geographic scope and therefore its impact is more strongly felt by smaller carriers that will most likely be forced out of the market or into the arms of larger players. The Philippines Insurer and Reinsurer Association (PIRA) has been outspoken against the minimum capital requirement and stated a preference for a standalone RBC metric.
Asia Pacific is a diverse mix of countries encompassing nearly one-third of the earth’s landmass and more than one half of its population. Given the broad spectrum of economic and regulatory sophistication across the region, the approach to insurance regulation has varied on a country-by-country basis as each regime adapts solvency principles to their own needs and political realities.
Eva Zheng and Graham Jones
It is anticipated that the China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC) will recognize cash deposits (including premiums withheld), letters of credit (LOC) and certain other forms of collateral. LOCs must be issued by domestic banks with a capital adequacy ratio of no less than 11 percent or by overseas financial institutions with credit ratings equal to or higher than AA-. Cedents will be required to report and re-value their counterparty risk on a quarterly basis and adjust collateral positions accordingly.
Eva Zheng and Graham Jones
China’s developing insurance market is a potential bright spot for growth in an otherwise challenging landscape for global reinsurers. Driven by a maturing economy and expected increases in household penetration ratios, property/casualty insurance premium, totaling USD 121.6 billion in 2014 (1), is projected to increase to roughly USD 300 billion by 2030 (2).
Guy Carpenter today published an assessment of the development of solvency requirements and regulatory initiatives that are impacting (re)insurers in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region. According to the report, these developments are driven by four key motivators, including the need to improve resiliency post-catastrophic loss; to increase oversight in a post-Great Recession world; to follow best practices from the banking and international insurance sectors; and finally, to satisfy domestic political pressures.