Insurance regulation and the credit crisis. What’s new?
Prior to the 2008 global credit crisis, some developments had occurred in the regulation of the insurance industry worldwide. At different speeds, the world was heading toward a more risk-based solvency regulation and some convergence on principles and criteria. We see a common thread in the present discussion and in the way events happened. We consider that the great debate in the industry is a fundamental decision: whether to engage in other than core business activities. If the industry focuses on its insurance business, the argument for specialized regulation and the continuity of a conservative and prudent line of business is strong. Instead, if the industry deepens its identification with other lines of financial business, the specialized supervision arrangement does not hold. The move entails both possibilities of new, riskier and promising business, but also perils, since the industry “buys” the systemic characteristics that distinguish other financial institutions.
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