Spreadsheet use in Solvency II Internal Models

The keynote presentation of today is done by Jothi Philip of the FSA, talking about spreadsheet auditing and Solvency II.

Jothi showed a data flow diagram of operation within a insurance company, where some of the steps are done with spreadsheets. He also shared some great anecdotes on spreadsheets in insurance companies. For instance: in a certain company, the meaning of + and – changed. It used to mean buy or sell, but at one point this was changed, they added a fresh column for buying or selling. This was not considered a major change, so it was not communicated.  It took them 6 months to figure out what had happened, and this led to a correction of 89 million pound (luckily a positive one)

There is also some good news: many companies are implementing spreadsheet guidelines and using tools to manage spreadsheets, like assigning ownership, documentation and data checks, to be more compliant with Solvency II regulations.