Friday, 27th May 2016
EUROPEAN COMMISSION'S REVIEW OF THE INSURANCE BLOCK EXEMPTION (“IBER”)
The European Commission (the "Commission") is currently reviewing the insurance block exemption regulation (the "IBER"), which expires on 31 March 2017. The IBER is of general application to certain types of insurance co-operation and collaboration arrangements, providing them with a "safe harbour" from the EU competition rules.
At the time of the Commission's previous review of the IBER in 2009, before its renewal in 2010, there was some confusion in the market about (i) the relevance of the IBER to the Group's business and (ii) the difference between the IBER and the individual exemption granted to the Group for the International Group Agreement (the "IGA") following the Commission's decision in 1999 on the compatibility of the Group's arrangements with EU competition law. Given the possibility for further confusion to arise, the Group wishes to reiterate that the current review being undertaken by the Commission in relation to the IBER is not relevant to the Group's arrangements and so will not affect the Pooling Agreement or the IGA – even if the IBER is allowed to lapse in 2017.