Cut EU red tape and use pension money to level up, says Aviva boss

Ready to go: The government should use Brexit to ease insurance regulations to “use our country’s pension funds nationally”, said Aviva chief executive Amanda Blanc.

Blanc, whose comments were first reported by the Daily Telegraph, joins a growing chorus of support for designing a more nimble framework than the EU’s Solvency II regime.

The rules, which cover insurance company governance, risk management and reporting, set requirements on keeping large sums of money on balance sheets and effectively tell providers what they can and cannot. invest.

UK insurers still adhere to Solvency II following the UK’s departure from the EU, although in 2020 Chancellor Rishi Sunak launched a review of the framework.

Blanc said: “The old European solvency rules created certain obstacles to […] long-term investment, but Brexit has provided an opportunity to change that.

“If done right, it will be good news for savers and good news for much-needed British investment. It’s time to ensure we can make positive national use of our country’s hard-earned pension funds. .

“The UK pensions industry is a huge local benefit with up to £1.5billion to invest,” she added.

Earlier in January, the Pension Insurance Corporation estimated that appropriate Solvency II reforms could boost its own planned investments in “productive finance” from £30bn to £50bn by 2030.

PIC suggested that ideal reforms to the framework would preserve the resilience of insurers’ balance sheets while discouraging investments in riskier assets in overvalued markets.

An updated regime should also encourage investment in productive finance and “cash in the UK’s ‘Brexit bonus’ by ensuring a competitive UK insurance industry”, he said.

“The life chances and financial security of millions of people across the country depend on the timely and successful reform of this key element of financial services regulation,” said PIC Chief Executive Officer Tracy Blackwell.