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EU watchdog blasts stagnant talks on insurer rules

FRANKFURT, Oct 5 (Reuters) - The European Union's powerful insurance watchdog EIOPA on Friday blasted "stagnation" in political talks to finalise new risk capital rules for the insurance sector, saying delay was undermining EU credibility internationally.

"We are seriously concerned about the lack of a clear and credible timetable for the implementation of the new regime," Gabriel Bernardino, chairman of the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA), wrote in a letter to the EU Commissioner in charge of regulation, Michel Barnier.

The uncertainty over the implementation of the new rules, which are supposed to take effect in 2014 but are still being hammered out in talks between the Commission, the European Parliament and EU national governments, is "undermining EU credibility in international discussions," Bernardino added.

Once an overall timetable is agreed, policymakers should consider earlier implementation of some aspects of the rules, known as Solvency II, he said.

(Reporting by Jonathan Gould)

((Jonathan.Gould@thomsonreuters.com)(+49 69 7565 1242)(Reuters Messaging: jonathan.gould.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

Keywords: EIOPA LETTER/