On 25 August 2017, the Minister for Finance published the European Union (Insurance and Reinsurance) (Amendment) Regulations 2017 (S.I. No. 384 of 2017) (the ’Amending Regulations’). The Amending Regulations apply with immediate effect and implement a number of changes to the European Union (Insurance and Reinsurance) Regulations 2015 (the ’2015 Regulations’) and the Insurance Act 1989 (the ’1989 Act’). The Explanatory Note to the Amending Regulations states that they are being introduced to more accurately reflect the provisions of the Solvency II Directive.
The Amending Regulations introduce some key changes including:
1. Such holding companies are now obliged to notify the Central Bank within 5 working days of any change to the identity of the persons that effectively ’run’ those companies.
2. The notification must provide the Central Bank with sufficient information to enable it to assess whether the person in question is fit and proper to perform their duties (noting though, as yet, the Central Bank has not explicitly defined what constitutes ’sufficient information’ in this context).
3. Any appointment purporting to effect such a change which is not notified in a compliant manner will be deemed void (this provision may raise certain extra-territorial issues that would need to be examined).
4. Such undertakings are no longer required to inform the Central Bank immediately in the event that a previously appointed person ceases to perform the relevant function, unless that person has been replaced because she/he no longer complies with a relevant standard of fitness and probity issued by the Central Bank.
5. Interestingly, it is no longer considered an offence under the 2015 Regulations for a relevant undertaking to breach the notification requirement without a reasonable excuse. That said, it is important for (re)insurers to be aware of this notification requirement and furthermore, ensure that it is highlighted at a group level.