Regulatory reporting requires insurers efficiently to fulfil requirements down to the last detail. It helps inspire confidence in insurers their reports will be comprehensive and correctly formatted if the software they employ in the report preparation is the same as that used by supervisors for receiving and analysing them. Many insurers using BearingPoint’s Abacus/Solvency II regulatory reporting software are in this happy position, because a number of supervisory agencies and central banks in Europe operate the regulator’s version of the same software.
BearingPoint developed Abacus/Solvency II initially for insurers, with Allianz as the pilot user. Allianz implemented the platform group-wide in 2012, and the software is now used by more than 200 firms across Europe reporting in 22 jurisdictions. The fact supervisors and central banks also use the software is a testament to BearingPoint’s understanding of the regulatory reporting process end to end.
“Our goal is to take as much of the regulatory burden as possible off our insurance customers’ shoulders, therefore we not only handle current requirements, but also take care of the ongoing changes in regulatory reporting as well,” says Maciej Piechocki, partner at BearingPoint, based in Frankfurt. “Instead of firms having to monitor the Eiopa website for things like new taxonomies, formats or validation methods, we do this for them and, because we do it for over 200 insurers across Europe, we can do this very efficiently and cost effectively.”
Last year, Swiss Re went live with Abacus/Solvency II, enabling the company to be prepared ahead of time for the directive’s interim measures and its full adoption on the go-live date. In January this year, Zurich Insurance Group signed up to deploy Abacus/Solvency II across 19 of its entities, including subsidiaries in Austria, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Portugal, Spain and the UK. Monty Cachej, head of Solvency II project management office and solution management at Zurich, said choosing an established, reliable solution like Abacus/Solvency II reduces both risk and the total cost of ownership for the company.
Although larger firms such as Zurich, Swiss Re and Allianz have mostly installed the software in-house, more than half of customers have opted for BearingPoint’s managed service offering where the company operates the system at its data centre, handling all the headaches of hardware and software upgrades and maintenance. With BearingPoint able to demonstrate effective data security, backup and disaster recovery arrangements, insurers are finding the business case for the managed service compelling, Piechocki says. “We were not expecting such a rapid takeup of our managed service offering, and our client base for it continues to grow rapidly.”
A number of clients successfully used Abacus/Solvency II for preparatory phase reporting in June. Although the exercise in general went relatively smoothly across Europe, Piechocki warns against complacency in approaching the full live date of January 1, 2016. “Insurers are saying the preparatory phase went well, but we should not forget that the scope of the final phase of Solvency II is much larger and that the scrutiny of regulators will be more rigorous,” says Piechocki.
The ramping up of reporting requirements will require the industrialisation of reporting, and this is where Abacus/Solvency II’s strengths in streamlining and automating processes while applying checks and controls will come to the fore.
Our goal is to take as much of the regulatory burden as possible off our insurance customers’ shoulders