The Swiss Federal Office of Private Insurance (FOPI) actively participates in the activities of several international organisations and associations. It consistently contributes to and derives considerable benefits from their work.
International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS)
FOPI is a funding Member of the IAIS, established in 1994 in Basle, Switzerland. The Association assembles insurance regulators and supervisors of some 180 jurisdictions and, since 1999, more than 100 Observers: industry associations, professional associations, insurers and reinsurers, consultants and international financial institutions. The IAIS issues global insurance principles, standards and guidance papers, provides training and support on issues related to insurance supervision, and organises meetings and seminars for insurance supervisors.
The IAIS works closely with other financial sector standard setting bodies and international organisations to promote financial stability. It holds an Annual Conference where supervisors, industry representatives and other professionals discuss developments in the insurance sector and topics affecting insurance regulation.
An Executive Committee, whose members represent different geographical regions, heads the IAIS. It is supported by three main committees - the Technical Committee, the Implementation Committee and the Budget Committee. The Director of FOPI is a statutory member of the key Technical Committee, which, in its subcommittees and working parties (working groups, task forces and groups) elaborates globally recognised standards for the supervision of insurance. FOPI representatives actively work in most of IAIS subcommittees and working parties.
Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)
Traditionally, FOPI officials head the Swiss delegation to the OECD Insurance and Private Pensions Committee (IPPC). The delegation includes officials from the Federal Departement of Finance, the Federal Office of Social Insurance, the Swiss Insurance Association as well as representatives of top Swiss insurers and reinsurers.
The Committee plays a key role in improving awareness and understanding, especially among policymakers, of major insurance and pensions issues, through market and policy analysis, data collection, and good practices. It does that in order to help members and non-members of OECD in developing efficient, open and sound market-orientated insurance and pension systems, and to face challenges of ageing and the growing risk environment.
Therefore the current IPPC mandate contains the following objectives:
The main objective is to promote efficient, open and sound market-oriented insurance and private pensions systems, based on high levels of transparency, confidence, and integrity, and respecting recognised social objectives of these systems.
Moreover there exist several key specific objectives:
- Improving insurance and private pensions awareness and education
- Strengthening private pensions systems to help them address the challenges of ageing
- Enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of insurance and private pensions regulation
- Improving the financial management of large-scale risks.
The Swiss delegation to the OECD Insurance and Private Pensions Committee is consistently contributing to its activities. It has made a number of proposals towards better - lighter and more efficient - regulation of insurance. It worked hard on further liberalisation of international insurance services through the revision of the OECD Code of Liberalisation of Current Invisible Operations (2003), on Terrorism Insurance (2004) and on OECD Guidelines on the Governance of Insurers (2005).