Appointments – May 2024

What are the most recent appointments in the Benelux?

 

Nicolas Fauvarque - P&V Group | LinkedIn

Nicolas Fauvarque leaves the P&V Group Brussels

Nicolas Fauvarque, Chief Financial Officer and member of the executive committee, has decided to leave the P&V Group for personal reasons. He joined the executive committee of the P&V Group in mid-2021 as Chief Risk Officer (CRO). In the interim, his responsibilities will be assumed by current members of the executive committee. The search for a new CFO has already begun.

(Source)

 

Jean Hilgers becomes independent non-executive director

Jean Hilgers plays a leading role in the fields of finance, banking, insurance, and education, both in Belgium and Europe. He has served as an executive director at the National Bank of Belgium, a senior consultant at Deloitte, and a director at Cofinimmo and AG Insurance, among others. He has also been a member of the Board of Supervisors of EIOPA, the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority, and the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision.

(Source)

 

Fichier:National Bank of Belgium NL logo.svg — Wikipédia

Election of the new Regents of the National Bank of Belgium

Helga Coppen and Mr. Pieter Timmermans

On May 21, 2024, the ordinary general meeting of shareholders of the National Bank of Belgium, re-elected Ms. Helga Coppen and Mr. Pieter Timmermans as regents. The following were also elected as regents: Ms. Ann Vermorgen, Mr. Pieter Verhelst, Ms. Marthe Nyssens, and Mr. Frédéric Rouvez.

As a result of these decisions, the Board of Regents of the National Bank of Belgium now has the following composition:

  • The six members of the Executive Committee:
    • Mr. Pierre Wunsch, Governor
    • Mr. Steven Vanackere, Vice-Governor
    • Mr. Vincent Magnée, Director-Treasurer
    • Mr. Tom Dechaene, Director
    • Mr. Tim Hermans, Director-Secretary
    • Ms. Géraldine Thiry, Director
  • Five regents proposed by the socio-economic sector:
    • Ms. Ann Vermorgen, President of the Confederation of Christian Trade Unions (CSC)
    • Mr. Pieter Timmermans, CEO of the Federation of Enterprises in Belgium (FEB)
    • Mr. Danny Van Assche, CEO of UNIZO
    • Mr. Thierry Bodson, President of the General Federation of Belgian Labour (FGTB)
    • Mr. Pieter Verhelst, Board Member of the Boerenbond
  • Nine regents proposed by the Minister of Finance:
    • Ms. Claire Tillekaerts, President of the Board of Regents
    • Ms. Géraldine Van der Stichele, Senior Vice President Operations at the Brussels Intercommunal Transport Company (STIB)
    • Ms. Louise Fromont, Professor of the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB)
    • Ms. Helga Coppen, Deputy General Administrator of the Socio-Economic Council of Flanders (SERV)
    • Ms. Christine Mahy, General Secretary of the Walloon Network Against Poverty (RWLP)
    • Ms. Griet Smaers, Lawyer
    • Mr. Marc Bourgeois, Professor at the University of Liège
    • Ms. Marthe Nyssens, Professor at the Catholic University of Louvain
    • Mr. Frédéric Rouvez, Company Director

(Source)

Results – April 2024

Find out the results of the insurance market in April 2024.

 
Ethias unveils solid performances in 2023

Ethias closed 2023 with a total revenue of 3.37 billion EUR, marking a 15.79% increase compared to 2022.

This result can be attributed to:

  • Life revenue, which saw a 21.61% increase, reaching 1.70 billion EUR.
  • Non-Life revenue, which increased by 10.39% to reach 1.66 billion EUR. The growth in Non-Life is notably due to excellent commercial dynamics, the arrival of new clients, an increase in the number of new contracts, and a decrease in churn, or the number of clients who cancel their insurance policies within a given period.

The net profit amounts to 200 million EUR. Increasing by 9 million EUR compared to 2022, it demonstrates a robust growth of 4.85% and reinforces the insurer’s financial strength. The operating profit for Life activities is 76 million EUR, up by one million EUR compared to 2022. As for Non-Life activities, it amounts to 201 million EUR, up by 32 million EUR compared to 2022.

Considering these strong performances, Ethias plans to pay a dividend of 110 million euros to its shareholders: the Federal State (SFPIM), the Walloon Region (Wallonie Entreprendre), the Flemish Region, and the investment company EthiasCo.

(Source)

 

Annual results of Argenta

In 2023, Argenta Insurance achieved a net profit of 72 million euros, resulting in a Return on Equity (ROE) of 12% (BGAAP). Both life insurance and property and casualty insurance activities significantly contributed to this result. The increase in interest rates further enhanced the attractiveness of the life insurance product offerings and led to increased returns on the reinvestment of insurance premiums, while simultaneously resulting in lower claims payouts in the non-life branches.

This translated into increased profits in both life and non-life sectors, with a combined ratio after reinsurance of 83%. Argenta Insurance’s solvency, standing at 230%, significantly exceeds regulatory requirements.

With these results, Argenta is well-prepared for the future and is actively working on implementing a new proposition tailored for self-employed individuals.

(Source) (Source)

 

Baloise strengthens its core business – higher cash remittance and growing dividend

Baloise reported a profit of 115 million euros (EBIT) in Belgium for 2023.

  • Non-Life insurance showed the strongest growth (+6.8%), while Life insurance decreased less than expected (-8.7%). Due to changing macroeconomic circumstances, such as the shape of the yield curve, customers have more options to seek returns elsewhere, for example, with government bonds.
  • The Solvency II ratio stands at 174.5%, indicating good business management.
  • In Non-Life insurance, Baloise recorded a notable increase of 30% in the SME and self-employed market segment. This growth reflects the effectiveness of strategic decisions to focus more on these target groups.
  • In the Life insurance segment, Baloise faced some challenges, particularly in the self-employed target group, where tax adjustments resulted in a production decline. However, Baloise recorded significant growth of over 20% in new group insurance policies and a remarkable 40% increase in traditional pension savings. 

(Source)

 

CBC shares its 2023 results
  • Between 2022 and 2023, the revenues of CBC Bank and Insurance increased by 15.5%, rising from 481 million to 556 million euros.
  • However, costs increased by 7%. After deducting these costs as well as taxes and other expenses such as write-downs, the net profit of the Walloon bancassurer amounts to 174.8 million euros. This represents an increase of approximately 20% compared to the net profit recorded in 2022.
  • The insurance-related activity also experienced a revenue growth of 5%.
  • The growth of the customer portfolio fell slightly below the targeted objective. This can be attributed to the slowdown in mortgage lending production, resulting in a decrease in the number of insurance subscriptions associated with it. Nevertheless, the significant growth in non-life premiums, both for businesses and individuals, helped offset this decline.

Bancassurance remains a primary focus for development with significant potential for CBC.

 
 
Ageas publishes its 2023 reports
  • Group inflows were 8% up at constant exchange rates compared to last year amounting to EUR 17.1 billion.
  • The Life Liabilities excluding UG/L grew 5% to EUR 84.7 billion at constant exchange rates. Non-Life inflows were up 17% at constant exchange rates with growth across all segments, driven by portfolio growth and price increases in response to increased inflation.
  • The Net Operating Result for the Group amounted to EUR 1,166 million, representing a 16.2% Return on Equity and falling well within the upper half of the initial guidance of EUR 1.1 billion to EUR 1.2 billion. At constant exchange rates, this represents a 9% increase compared to last year’s Net Operating Result excluding the capital gains related to the sale of the commercial lines in the UK and the FRESH liability management action.
  • The Operational Capital Generation over the period stood at EUR 1.8 billion, illustrating a solid operating performance across the Group and confirming the strong Net Operating Result. This included EUR 857 million generated by the Solvency II scope companies, and EUR 1,116 million from the Non-Solvency scope entities, while the General Account consumed EUR 169 million.
  • Operational Free Capital Generation, including both the Solvency II and the non-Solvency II scope, amounted to EUR 1.2 billion.
 
Non-life insurers have been experiencing losses for four years

The increase in the frequency of natural disasters and the rising costs of repairing electric vehicles are weighing on the profitability of insurers. For the fourth consecutive year, their combined ratio, which balances expenses and revenues, has been above 100, according to the latest study conducted by Capgemini globally.

However, this global trend is far from confirmed in Belgium. According to Assuralia figures, non-life activities have generated profits of around 7% over the past four years. The trend in 2023 is even upward.

Legislation – April 2024

What are the most recent legislation changes in the Benelux?

 

Changes in the car insurance law

Some changes have been made to the law on compulsory motor vehicle liability insurance. These changes include provisions regarding vehicles that are exempt from insurance, the compensation to be paid by the insurer if there is a delay in responding to the injured party, and the Common Guarantee Fund.

This law came into effect on April 12, 2024 (10 days after its publication in the Belgian Official Gazette).

Source : Law of March 17, 2024, amending the Law of November 21, 1989, on compulsory motor vehicle liability insurance (1), Belgian Official Gazette, April 2, 2024.

 

Sanctions for non-compliance with deadlines related to insurance benefit payments

A law dated March 17, 2024, concerning deadlines and sanctions related to insurance benefit payments, is adopted to address inconsistencies in current insurance legislation. Henceforth, all branches of insurance will be covered by provisions governing claims settlement. This includes payments of insurance benefits and sanctions, payments of claims, and sanctions, as well as sanctions in the case of liability coverage.

The law comes into effect on October 1, 2024, and applies to claims filed from that date onwards.

Source:  March 17, 2024 – Law concerning deadlines and sanctions related to insurance benefit payments, Belgian Official Gazette, April 2, 2024, p. 39249.

 

New economic measures and their impact on the insurance sector

The Belgian Official Gazette publishes the law of February 9, 2024, containing various provisions concerning the economy. Some of these provisions relate to insurance and will come into effect on March 31, 2024 :

–  Members of the legal management body and the executive committee of such companies, individuals responsible for effective management, as well as heads of independent control functions, must continuously possess the professional integrity and adequate expertise required for the performance of their duties.

–  Document retention: Insurance or reinsurance companies must make available to the Bank and the FSMA (Financial Services and Markets Authority) the documents necessary for the supervision to which they are subject by these authorities. The previous provision stipulated that these companies must retain documents related to their activities at their headquarters or at any other location previously authorized by the Bank in consultation with the FSMA.

Source:  February, 9 2024 – Law containing various provisions regarding the economy, Belgian Official Gazette

 

Suicide attempts: Insurers will no longer be able to refuse to cover hospitalization costs

The Chamber’s Economy Committee approved the bill proposed by Els Van Hoof (CD&V), co-signed by MP Patrick Prévot (PS), aiming to compel insurance companies to also cover hospitalization expenses following a suicide attempt. They will no longer be able to exclude these patients or make them pay premiums.

(Source)