– No excuse for withholding Blue Book data
– Blue Book data is vital for policy holders and consumers
ISME, the Irish SME Association today (May 15th) expresses its concern and disappointment at the Central Bank’s refusal to publish the Blue Book. On 19th April, the Central Bank turned down an ISME request to reinstate the Blue Book, which provided summary statistics on insurance companies until 2015.
The Central Bank suggested that the adoption of Solvency II rules prevents them from updating the Blue Book, and instead it produces individual Solvency and Financial Condition Reports (SFCR) for each of the 187 regulated insurers in the Irish market. The problem with this explanation is that each SFCR is between 40 and 110 pages long, and production of summary data would be enormously time-consuming.
While ISME acknowledges that the Solvency II regulations are different, there is nothing to prevent the Central Bank from updating the Blue Book.
It is one of the most valuable publications of the Central Bank, and has been vital for commentators such as Dorothea Dowling in analysing the financial activities of Irish insurers.
Commenting on this matter, ISME CEO Neil McDonnell said “Blue Book data is vital for policy holders and consumers in holding insurers accountable. If the Central Bank is to fulfil its consumer protection mandate, it must reinstate the Blue Book immediately. We will raise the matter with the Joint Oireachtas Finance Committee and the Finance Minister.”
A copy of our letter to the Central Bank is available here