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Bermuda’s BMA aims to better facilitate parametric climate-related re/insurance

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The Bermuda Monetary Authority (BMA) has laid out its plans for 2024, with Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Craig Swan highlighting specific opportunities in parametric risk transfer for climate insurance.

craig-swan-ceo-bermuda-monetary-authority-bmaThe 2024 business plan of Bermuda’s financial regulator contains a focus on “initiatives and projects to achieve positive outcomes and strengthen Bermuda’s regulatory framework for the upcoming year.”

Of relevance to the insurance, reinsurance and insurance-linked securities (ILS) community, the Bermuda Monetary Authority (BMA) expects to continue to work on enhancing its regulatory and supervisory regimes to meet the evolving needs of financial service companies today.

There will be further work on the Insurance Code of Conduct, “to uphold the importance of financial transparency, consumer protection and education initiatives,” the BMA explains.

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While an Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) model and a Sustainability Strategy are also key initiatives and here there are relevant items to look out for, for this industry.

BMA CEO Craig Swan said, “The Authority’s strategy is underpinned by deep expertise and cross-functional viewpoints designed to champion innovation. This plan’s many thoughtfully curated objectives will optimise excellence while simultaneously preparing the organisation to meet and address emerging challenges that impact the regulatory environment. In a continually fluctuating business climate, this approach enables the BMA to open new pathways for enhancing our abilities and innovative practices today and for many years to come.”

Swan also commented, “The pace of innovation is challenging organisations to remain agile and adapt how they work to meet the ebb and flow of their markets. From artificial intelligence and automation to decentralised finance and insurance-linked securities, the financial services industry has evolved markedly over the last few decades with increasingly transformative leaps forward each successive year.

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“As firms confront issues such as inflationary pressures, relentless consumer demands, volatility in the commodity markets and extreme climate patterns, they are building systems to redefine and reimagine their future aspirations.”

The BMA intends to explore working with investment funds to “set up a new framework that facilitates the ability to designate certain Bermuda funds as ESG compliant,” Swan said.

This could be an interesting initiative for ILS managers, given there are plenty of ILS fund structures domiciled in Bermuda that could find an ESG framework appealing to look into.

The BMA also intends to prepare a consultation paper on a new climate risk disclosure framework for Bermuda commercial (re)insurers, Swan also explained.

But, perhaps most compelling in the current environment and in terms of opportunity, the BMA also intends to work in 2024 on “reviewing and, where applicable, updating other (re)insurance frameworks to better facilitate parametric climate-related insurance products.”

Bermuda has always considered itself as the world’s climate risk capital market and given the proliferation of catastrophe, weather and climate focused underwriting expertise in the islands insurers, reinsurers and of course ILS fund managers, there is clearly a wealth of experience and relevant knowledge, as well as ongoing business there.

If Bermuda can make its regulatory and supervisory regime even more relevant to underwriters of parametric climate risk insurance and reinsurance opportunities, while also finding ways to tap into the ILS market expertise on the island, the opportunity to attract and deploy climate risk capital out of the market there seems a worthwhile achievable goal.

The BMA has always followed a forward-thinking agenda and this year’s business plan again highlights the regulators’ ability to focus on emerging trends that can be drivers of future profit for Bermuda’s financial market and its participants.

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