Tuesday July 26, 2011
RBC framework for takaful expected next year
SERI KEMBANGAN: The risk-based capital (RBC) framework for the takaful industry is expected to be implemented in the first half of next year, paving the way for stricter capital requirements for Islamic insurance.
The move would enable takaful players to hold appropriate level of capital to undertake risks in their daily operations.
Takaful Ikhlas Sdn Bhd president and chief executive officer Datuk Syed Moheeb Syed Kamarulzaman said currently the exposure draft of the framework had been released and feedback was being collected from the market.
“We do not expect any delay in the implementation for the RBC framework for the takaful industry as it has been talked in the industry for a while. Unlike the conventional RBC framework, which was given a one-year period for compliance, we expect the actual execution for the RBC to be in a much shorter timeframe,’’ he told a briefing at the 1st Malaysia Insurance Summit 2011.
Moheeb, who is also the chairman of the Malaysian Takaful Association (MTA), said he was upbeat that all the takaful players would be able to comply with the framework upon its implementation.
He said there were one or two takaful companies currently “fine tuning” their portfolio to meet the framework.
Asked on the portfolio mix of the RBC for takaful compared with the RBC for conventional insurers, he said it would be slightly different as there might be heavier loans for credit-base weightage for the former resulting in higher charges for some takaful players under the takaful framework. This is in view of larger loans portfolio for Islamic finance coupled with lesser number of players in the takaful market.
The RBC framework for the conventional insurance sector came on stream in January 2009.
Under the conventional framework, insurance companies are required to have a minimum of 130% of supervisory capital-adequacy ratio.
The capitalisation of the insurance industry currently is strong at a CAR of 224.6%.
At present there are 11 takaful operators and three retakaful operators with another retakaful operator about to join the stable.
According to Moheeb, this year he expected the growth rate for the industry to exceed 20% for the family and general takaful business, higher than the previous year, with the inclusion of three new family takaful operators into the market.
Meanwhile, The Malaysian Insurance Institute (MII) CEO Khadijah Abdullah said the insurance industry as a whole was projected to grow by 12% this year supported, amongst others, by the Government’s various stimulus plans and other legislative initiatives as well as the historically low interest rate environment.
According to the Life Insurance Association of Malaysia (LIAM) that in addition to these numerous initiatives announced in the Economic Transformation Programme, including the private pension plan and worker insurance scheme, economic conditions in the country are ripe for further life insurance development.
She added the current consumer confidence in Malaysia has also shown marked improvement, rising to 107 points on the latest Nielsen Global Consumer Confidence Index - its highest score since the third quarter of 2006.
The General Insurance Association of Malaysia (PIAM) meanwhile reported that, in absence of any further adverse impacton the world economy, the association foresees the outlook for the general insurance industry this year to be positive with an increased demand for insurance in all areas.
Likewise, MTA also expects the Islamic insurance industry to continue to improve on its 10% market penetration, particularly by expanding into rural areas.
Khadijah said Malaysia and other Asean insurance markets should consider implementing the proposed Solvency II framework to be launched next year in the European Union (EU) so as to synergise the domestic industries as to be at par with other advanced markets.
This new framework would create a new scenario for the EU insurance legislations to facilitate the development of a single market in insurance services in Europe, whilst at the same time securing an adequate level of consumer protection, she noted.