EU watchdog to run stress test on insurers in 2014

Reuters

(Corrects day of week as Monday, not Tuesday, in firstparagraph)

LONDON, Sept 30 (Reuters) - Insurers in the European Unionface a "comprehensive" stress test next year with risks from lowinterest rates a key focus, the bloc's insurance watchdog saidon Monday.

"EIOPA will run a comprehensive stress test in 2014,"Gabriel Bernardino, chairman of the European Insurance andOccupational Pensions Authority told the European Parliament.

"Following our market analysis and risk assessment, EIOPAidentified a prolonged period of low interest rates as apotential threat to the stability of the EU insurance sector,"Bernardino said.

He added it was a matter of urgency that the bloc finalisesnew capital adequacy rules for insurers known as Solvency II.

"Agreement on final date is urgently needed... to avoidmarket fragmentation. We cannot continue with the currentregulatory uncertainty," Bernardino said.

EIOPA said it does not plan to publish results of the stresstest.

(Reporting by Huw Jones, editing by Chris Vellacott)

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