Collection of insurance industry data: FINMA simplifies data structure

The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority FINMA has revised the chart of accounts on which the collection of supervisory data from insurance companies is based. This will make the data structure and reporting more uniform and deliver increased transparency.

Beginning in 2020, FINMA will use a revised chart of accounts as the basis for collecting supervisory information from insurance companies. It will update the structure used in previous years to reflect the classification rules set out in the FINMA Insurance Supervision Ordinance and the most recent financial reporting standards defined in the Swiss Code of Obligations. In future, the charts of accounts, SST balance sheets and annual financial statements published by insurers will use the new structure. As a result, the concordance tables which were previously used will no longer be required. Most of the old data and accounts will be transferred to the new structure, and some will be renamed or renumbered.

Classification rules make standardisation possible

This standardisation has been made possible by the revised FINMA Insurance Supervision Ordinance, published in 2015, in which FINMA introduced minimum classification requirements for the balance sheet and income statement and a breakdown of business activities in the annual financial statements of insurance companies. The new structure takes better account of the specific needs of the insurance industry and delivers greater transparency about the economic situation of insurers. The revision of the ordinance was also an important factor in ensuring that the European Commission recognised Switzerland's insurance supervisory regime as equivalent to the EU's Solvency II directive in 2015.

FINMA introduces an electronic communications platform

FINMA is currently developing an electronic platform which will enable paperless communication and the exchange of business documents with FINMA. The platform will integrate the entire workflow – from data entry to its submission – and will replace the FINMA Insurance Reporting and Supervising Tool (FIRST) data entry system with effect from the 2019 reporting year. Additional information on this topic will follow in due course.