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INSURANCE encourages innovation but we can certainly do more, particularly in areas like fintech. Equally, I'd like the Central Bank to give serious thought to how it could help to foster innovation and, without compromising good regulation, consider how to help the industry to develop and thrive. This can only benefit everybody, including regulators and policyholders,' he said. Thompson also identified the evolving regulatory environment in Europe, 'with the decisions to be made in 2018 potentially determining the course of European regulation for a generation,' he said. ' Aside from Brexit, the key strategic issue at a European level is the future direction of regulation, such as the review of the European Supervisory Authorities, IDD implementation and the Solvency II review' . 'We believe the lessons of recent experience, such as early and sustained engagement on the issues at a European level, must be brought to bear in this context ... We would like to see Ireland’s interests advanced by all parties. Ireland’s position as an international hub for insurance and reinsurance business has been hard won in a very competitive international environment for insurance related investments. Protecting and further expanding this ecosystem is an industry priority through ensuring we have the right business environment and a strong pipeline of talent to sustain it.' Thompson also highlighted the need James Grennan for progress and engagement in domestic areas, including motor insurance costs and pensions. 'Domestically, the focus on reforming the cost of claims in motor insurance remains key and the work of the Personal Injuries Commission, which will benchmark awards internationally, is the most important action arising from the Cost of Insurance Working Group Report,' he said. The Group's second report, published at the end of January this year, focuses on Employers’ Liability and Public Liability insurance. Here, Thompson said, 'the level of awards also remains the defining issue in the market’. On the Life side, the Taoiseach has proposed the introduction an auto- enrolment pension model by 2021. 'This is welcome news and Insurance Ireland supports the proposal,' he said. '.' Thompson also stressed that 'if financial services is to remain an employment of choice, it is essential to have genuinely inclusive workplaces and this is an issue that all companies should consider in 2018.' Insurance Ireland had undertaken an industry Year of Inclusion in 2017 to create a platform for its members to engage with diversity and inclusion experts, to share their experiences and to support change at all levels in the sector’. Thompson said these activities were an important first step. Goodbody’s Grennan had a kind word for the hard-pressed regulators within the Central Bank and some harsher words for their critics. 'I would like to see the media and politicians ease up on the Central Bank,' he said. 'Criticism is fine when warranted but much of the comment is ill- informed and risks creating an unnecessary focus on the public perception of regulation rather than on the fundamentals of regulation itself.' Experts in providing sound technical and business orientated advice and support to a wide range of leading financial institutions and corporates. “Clients speak highly of this practice, particularly valuing its responsiveness and partner-led advice” Chambers Europe CONTACT David Williams Trevor Dolan Damien Barnaville Partner and Head of Financial Services T +353 1 637 1542 E dwilliams@lkshields.ie Partner T +353 1 637 1549 E tdolan@lkshields.ie Partner T +353 1 638 5886 E dbarnaville@lkshields.ie 59 FINANCE DUBLIN YEARBOOK 2018 www.lkshields.ie