BRUSSELS Jan 13 The European Union and the
United States agreed on Friday to reduce legal and capital
barriers to boost the $3 billion transatlantic insurance and
The accord has been under negotiation for more than one year
and follows an agreement last year on derivatives.
U.S. and EU representatives said in a joint statement they
had reached a deal "that will ensure ongoing robust insurance
consumer protection and provide enhanced regulatory certainty
for insurers and reinsurers operating in both the U.S. and the
Under the deal, EU and US authorities will lift requirements
for reinsurers to hold more capital against risks if they
operate from the other side of the Atlantic, eliminating one key
hurdle for cross-border expansion.
Insurers will also benefit from lower supervisory
requirements, a move expected to reduce costs.
"This is a major deal that is set to benefit insurers,
reinsurers and policy holders on both sides of the Atlantic,"
said the EU financial services commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis.
The deal paves the way for EU companies to increase their
market share in the US, and for US companies to sell their
policies more easily in the 28 European Union countries.
The deal needs approval from the European Parliament and
($1 = 0.9388 euros)
(Reporting by Francesco Guarascio; Editing by Alissa de