European watchdog admits there is no perfect regime

Kicking off the Association of British Insurers biennial conference, Gabriel Bernardino, chairman of the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority, said the Solvency II rules will produce a good capital requirements regime “at the end of the day.”

Speaking to a packed room of insurers gathered in the City this morning (9 July), Mr Bernardino said: “There is no perfect regime anywhere in the financial sector.”

At the first panel session of Association of British Insurers Biennial conference, which kicked off late this morning (9 July) after a delegate was taken ill, Nigel Wilson, group chief executive of Legal & General, told Mr Bernardino that the insurance industry would love to help the UK housing market more but needed to be allowed to copy US funding methods.

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Mr Wilson said the insurance industry needs help from regulators to allow it to innovate and execute some of its ideas better.

When asked whether the government’s Help to Buy scheme would boost the housing market, Mr Wilson said: “We should be working on supply.

“The housing industry needs 100,000 more houses per annum and I would like to see our industry fund that in more ways.

“We have been more than dipping our toe into the housing industry. We would like to get on with lending to the housing industry.

“We do want to fund housing and energy in the UK. We would like to copy the American model for raising venture capital.”

Mr Wilson said the industry has spent too much time and money making up for the sins of the past rather than innovating new ways to help consumers.