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EU – U.S. Agreement on Insurance and Reinsurance

The EU and U.S. signed a landmark bilateral agreement on insurance and reinsurance. The signature marks the final step in more than 20 years of discussions and a year of formal negotiations between the European Commission and the U.S. Department of the Treasury and Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. The agreement will boost consumer protection and cut costs and red tape for EU insurers and reinsurers active in the US. In their joint statement, the EU and the U.S. said: “The Agreement represents a major step forward in U.S.- EU cooperation on insurance and reinsurance, conveying benefits to EU and U.S. insurers and reinsurers operating across the Atlantic, by offering them enhanced regulatory certainty, while maintaining robust consumer protections.”

The agreement will enable reinsurers to boost their investment capacity. EU reinsurers estimate that they have about $40 billion of collateral posted in the U.S., which could instead be invested to create jobs and growth. The opportunity cost is estimated at around $400 million per year. The Agreement will enhance consumer protection by facilitating the exchange of information between EU and U.S. supervisors. The Agreement also brings prudential benefits: for instance, EU insurers and reinsurers will have to prepare only one risk and solvency assessment (ORSA) in light of their specific risk profile. This assessment will also be used by U.S. supervisors. The signature allows parts of the Agreement to become immediately applicable on a provisional basis. The European Parliament and the Council will need to approve the conclusion of the Agreement. See also MEMO