Global insurance industry urges balanced approach to regulatory reform

OTTAWA, June 2 /CNW/ - In advance of the G20 Summit in Toronto at the end of June, the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (CLHIA) and 21 other international insurance associations*, representing the vast majority of the global insurance industry, today presented a unified statement to the G20 leaders. The global industry's letter welcomed the G20's commitment to seeking ways to better coordinate and strengthen the global financial system but urged that any reforms should be sensible and balanced.

The statement notes that having entered the recent financial crisis in a position of relative strength and, further, having emerged relatively unscathed, our business model should receive its due recognition. In particular, the differences between banking and insurance need to be taken into account in the application of any new or corrective regulations. As a result, any measures requiring insurers to pay for the cost of failures in other sectors would be inappropriate and harmful to the industry's policyholders.

The global insurance industry also asks the G20 to focus its efforts on ensuring that insurance regulation is coordinated at the international level, and to be mindful of the effects that higher capital requirements and fair value accounting may have on the industry. Lastly, it urges that the G20 reiterate its commitment to growth in trade and liberalization through the work of the WTO.

"I am pleased that the international associations were able to come together to form a common position and we hope that any decisions taken by the G20 leaders appropriately reflect our industry's recommendations," says CLHIA President Frank Swedlove.

Established in 1894, the CLHIA is a voluntary association whose member companies account for 99 per cent of Canada's life and health insurance business. The industry provides a wide range of financial security products such as life insurance, annuities (including RRSPs, RRIFs and pensions), supplementary health insurance, long-term care insurance and critical illness insurance to about 26 million Canadians.

    *List of International Insurance Associations

    American Council of Life Insurers     Federación Interamericana de
    (ACLI)                                Empresas de Seguros (FIDES)
    American Insurance Association (AIA)  Fédération française des sociétés
    Association of British Insurers       d'assurances (FFSA)
    (ABI)                                 General Insurance Association of
    Asociación Mexicana de Instituciones  Japan (GIAJ)
    de Seguros (AMIS)                     German Insurance Association (GDV)
    Association of Savings and            Group of North American Insurance
    Investment of South Africa (ASISA)    Enterprises (GNAIE)
    Association of Bermuda Insurers and   Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC)
    Reinsurers (ABIR)                     Insurance Council of Australia
    Association of Mutual Insurers and    (ICA)
    Insurance Cooperatives in Europe      Irish Insurance Federation (IIF)
    (AMICE)                               Italian Insurance Association
    Canadian Life and Health Insurance    (ANIA)
    Association (CLHIA)                   Property Casualty Insurers
    Dublin International Insurance &      Association of America (PCI)
    Management Association (DIMA)         Reinsurance Association of America
    Dutch Association of Insurers         (RAA)
    European Insurance and Reinsurance
    Federation (CEA)

SOURCE Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association Inc.

For further information: For further information: Media enquiries: Wendy Hope, Vice President, External Relations, (613) 230-0031; Janice Hilchie, Vice President, Legislative Relations, (613) 230-0031

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