(Corrects day of week as Monday, not Tuesday, in first paragraph)
LONDON, Sept 30 (Reuters) - Insurers in the European Union face a “comprehensive” stress test next year with risks from low interest rates a key focus, the bloc’s insurance watchdog said on Monday.
“EIOPA will run a comprehensive stress test in 2014,” Gabriel Bernardino, chairman of the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority told the European Parliament.
“Following our market analysis and risk assessment, EIOPA identified a prolonged period of low interest rates as a potential threat to the stability of the EU insurance sector,” Bernardino said.
He added it was a matter of urgency that the bloc finalises new capital adequacy rules for insurers known as Solvency II.
“Agreement on final date is urgently needed... to avoid market fragmentation. We cannot continue with the current regulatory uncertainty,” Bernardino said.
EIOPA said it does not plan to publish results of the stress test.
Reporting by Huw Jones, editing by Chris Vellacott