11th International Insurance Conference: “Insurance for the long term in a short-term world”
Representatives of the main French, European and international actors in insurance met at the FFA on 25 October to discuss the major issues facing the sector. The event brought together more than 200 attendees – representatives of insurance and reinsurance undertakings, supervisory authorities, journalists – with some twenty influential speakers, including Bruno Le Maire, French Minister for the Economy and Finance, Jacques de Larosière, former managing director at the IMF, Michaela Koller, director general of Insurance Europe, Pierre Gramegna, Luxembourg’s Finance Minister, and François Villeroy de Galhau, governor of the Banque de France.
This conference, entitled “Insurance for the long term in a short-term world”, was structured around four round-table discussions focussing on the themes of volatility, insurance as a safe haven, negative interest rates, and European regulation.
Speakers unanimously emphasised that, in a context of growing economic and geopolitical imbalances, insurers are facing increasing complexity of risks, and disruptions. For most participants, the main issues today are the climate, digitalisation, data processing, the ageing population and cyber-security. The FFA’s president, Florence Lustman, said “the industry is indeed exposed to increasingly global and globalised challenges, but it has already invested a great deal in understanding and controlling these new risks: these disruptions therefore present insurers with both challenges and an opportunities”.
Managing low interest rates was widely discussed and described as a major challenge. Some participants see low rates as likely to be a long-term feature of the economic landscape and something that calls for discussion about the relevance of current inflation targets. According to Jacques de Larosière, prolonged low interest rates would have “a depressive effect that would not encourage entrepreneurial activity by economic actors”.
In this regard, the governor of the Banque de France, François Villeroy de Galhau, emphasised the need for life insurance contracts to evolve. He said that the supervisory authorities were ready to facilitate this by supporting requests for adjustments to the regulations that may prove necessary.
Finally, the French Minister for the Economy and Finance, Bruno Le Maire, spoke about the strength and solvency of French insurers, declaring that “insurance [remained] a strategic vector for the country’s economy and its cohesion”.
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Introduction by Florence Lustman, President of the French Insurance Federation
Keynote speech by Jacques de Larosière, Former Director General, IMF
Panel 1 : Operating in a highly volatile world
Keynote speech by Pierre Gramegna, Minister of Finance of Luxembourg
Panel 2 : Insurance, a safe refuge in an uncertain world?
Keynote speech by Bruno Le Maire, French Minister of the Economy and Finance
Panel 3 : From low to negative interest rates: How to keep insuring in a sustainable way?
Keynote speech by The Hon. Curtis L. Dickinson, JP. MP., Minister of Finance, Government of Bermuda
Panel 4 : European regulation from Solvency II to GDPR: a model for the world or a barrier to competition?
Closing remarks by François Villeroy de Galhau, Governor, Banque de France