Supervisory board of the Financial Supervision Authority lowered supervision fees and approved a new strategy
The supervisory board of the Financial Supervision Authority approved next year's budget in the amount of EEK 49 029 417 at its meeting today, 1 December. The budget revenue consists of supervision fees paid by the market participants. Considering the developments in the financial market, the supervisory board decided to lower the rates of supervision fees applicable to credit institutions, management companies, non-life insurers and insurance brokers.
The supervisory board also discussed the fee rates applicable to mandatory pension funds. Minister of Finance Aivar Sõerd informed the supervisory board of the Ministry's plans to lower and further regulate the fee rates.
"The rights and obligations of pension fund subscribers and management companies must be balanced," Mr Sõerd stressed.
The supervisory board approved the Financial Supervision Authority's strategy for 2007-2010, the main objective of which is to strengthen cooperation with the supervision authorities of other countries, since most of the important decisions that affect the development of the Estonian financial sector are taken abroad. It is planned to continue regular meetings with the Nordic and Baltic countries financial supervision authorities and to integrate the Estonian FSA into the Nordic financial groups risk assessment process. The cornerstone of the strategy rests on an open working culture, within which the FSA plans to publish assessments of the financial sector's affairs to a greater extent, with the emphasis on ensuring the functioning of a fair and efficient market. The complicated and intertwined nature of financial services necessitates better informing of consumers and the availability of independent advice that facilitates an understanding of the nature of financial services. The FSA in cooperation with market participants plans to develop analysis and overview products to compare various financial services.
The FSA's strategic goals for 2007-2010 also include an improvement of the capacity of market abuse detection and of the ability of assessing the risks inherent in financial groups' activities on various levels. Also, the application of the higher standard of a service provider's duty of diligence to the presentation of service conditions to consumers, based on the appropriate principle of understandability and adequacy. It is also planned to analyse the possibilities of optimising the reporting burden of the market participants and to apply new forms of reporting based on the analysis results.
"The Estonian financial market is highly concentrated, which is why the FSA needs to make certain changes to adapt to this peculiarity of the market. The focus should be on the cross-border risks arising from the owners activities, since an Estonian subsidiary's relations with its foreign parent company are no longer limited to capital investments. A direct financial and operational dependence has emerged. Another important activity is the continued education and advising of consumers, where the FSA can pay more attention to ensuring the comparability and transparency of services," said Aivar Sõerd, member of the supervisory board of the FSA.