The European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) and the China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC) have recently met in Budapest to sign a Memorandum of Understanding. Through it, both authorities agree to participate in an Executive Committee meeting of the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS).
The Memorandum forms the basis for cooperation between the two regulatory bodies, in order to achieve three objectives:
- Building a practical framework for exchanging supervisory information
- Updating one another on regulatory and supervisory framework developments for both insurance and private pensions
- Increasing mutual understanding of the Chinese and European supervisory regimes for insurance
By signing this Memorandum, both the EIOPA and CIRC have agreed to set up joint annual work programmes and expert task forces, as well as provide speakers for events organised by both authorities. They will also pursue other joint activities.
The two authorities have also pointed out that signing the Memorandum does not include a legal obligation to exchange confidential information, nor does it create any legal obligations between the parties involved or the European Union.
Chairman of the CIRC Xiang Junbo stated, “The China Insurance Regulatory Commission and the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority have always enjoyed a close relationship. The signing of this Memorandum of Understanding is a declaration of the two sides’ common vision to further our mutual communication and supervisory cooperation.”
Under the framework of the Memorandum, the two parties believe that more could be done to facilitate the exchange of information and experiences between the European and Chinese authorities.
For his part, Gabriel Bernardino, the Chairman of EIOPA, pointed out that, “the constant process of deepening ties between Europe and Asia and increasing cooperation is crucial for effective supervision and adequate protection of consumers.”
By signing the Memorandum of Understanding, he hopes to take an important step to further develop the relationship between both the Chinese and European insurance authorities, thus ensuring “improved supervisory convergence” worldwide in time.