The Belgian insurance sector has been subject to the MiFID
I1 conduct of business rules since 1 May 2015.
This roll-out of MiFID to the insurance sector, commonly known
as AssurMiFID, was one of the objectives of the Twin Peaks II Law
of 30 July 2013, by which the Belgian legislator wanted to create a
level playing field for the selling practices of all investment
products and for consumer protection rules. As such, the Law of
2013 and its implementing Royal Decrees (see text box), expand the
scope of the MiFID I conduct of business requirements to insurance
companies (including their tied agents) and insurance
intermediaries acting in Belgium.
It was clear from the start that the impact of this legislation
on the strategy, products and operations of insurance companies and
intermediaries would be very high (see further). The impact in
practice was increased by the very challenging timeline through
which the new regulatory framework was imposed on the insurance
sector (i.e. implementation of the new framework by 30 April 2014,
merely a couple of months following the publication of the Royal
Decrees). This also led to a decision2 of the
Constitutional Court delaying the entry into force with one year
(to 1 May 2015).
The Twin Peaks II law (TP II), dated 30 July 2013
Part IV of the Insurance Law of 2014
The three implementing Royal Decrees, dated 21 February
The Circular Letter of the Financial Services and Markets
Authority (FSMA), dated 16th of April 2014, and revised in
September 2015, to include additional guidelines with regard to
record keeping requirements.
Following an appeal of a sector association against the AssurMiFID
regulation, the Constitutional Court delayed the entry into force
with one year to 1 May 2015.
On the date of this article, we are awaiting the finalisation of
the regulatory framework, as certain aspects, included in
AssurMiFID, relating to reporting and cost and charges
transparency, still have to be implemented further. For these
areas, the legislator aims to align with other European regulatory
initiatives like PRIIPs.
The implementation of Solvency II remains a focus for the Central Bank but it also highlights issues such as the post-Brexit landscape, cyber risk exposure and the continuing low interest rate environment.
The European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority published a consultation paper on Implementing Technical Standards on the standardisation of the presentation of the insurance Product Information Document.
The underlying principles of a "knock for knock" scheme are well established.
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