With insurers fearing the UK’s exit of the European Union could make doing business across boarders tougher, some a looking at moving their offices. Hiscox
recently came out as one of the businesses looking at finding a new home. Insurance Business UK
has taken a look at the five cities that are proposing tempting offers to London’s insurers looking to move.
Ireland has arisen as the obvious first option for many. It’s a member of the European Union, so insurers doing business there retain the all-important passporting rights. It’s already home to a significant number of other businesses making sourcing talent easy, and offers generous corporate tax rates. The fact that it’s an English-speaking country and culturally similar to the UK also works in its favour. Prior to the Brexit vote CLB Insurance indicated it would move to Ireland to retain European access, and Beazley has announced it is working on getting European licences for its Irish business.
Within hours of the results of the Brexit vote coming through, a letter written by the head of the Paris regional government was sent to British executives advertising the benefits of moving to Paris Bloomberg
reported. It cited a well trained workforce, excellent quality of life and great public services. At a lobby for the French financial industry, Prime Minister Manuel Valls promised to extend the country’s special tax regime for foreigners to apply from five years to eight. Paris is easily accessible to London and the rest of Europe via rail, making it a tempting destination.
Home to the European Central Bank, Frankfurt is also the financial capital of Europe’s biggest economy. The city is also making a post-Brexit push however. In an interview with the BBC
prior to the Brexit vote, Hubertus Vaeth, who runs Frankfurt Main Finance, said the city would be a main beneficiary of a ‘leave’. "Quite a few actors have prepared. Don't ask me for names, because nobody wants to be quoted on that - but we do know from quite a few players that they have plans for such an unlikely event," he said. Although the city’s small size makes it a relatively unpopular destination for workers looking to move.
recently reported several international companies have begun making plans to make Amsterdam their destination of choice. The city has historically deep ties to capital markets, making it a destination a lot of banks could be considering. The city less compelling for insurers however, with Kajsa Ollongren, the Dutch city’s deputy mayor in charge of economic affairs stating the city is more interested in other specific financial sectors. The industries specifically cited were clearing, fintech and high frequency trading. While Amsterdam offers excellent digital connectivity with the rest of Europe, there are better options for insurers.
Luxembourg’s government recently stated it is not interested in luring away business from London, but instead aims to work for the mutual benefit of both parties. There are already ties in place between pension investments, and both countries support liberalised financial markets. While there is a lot of crossover between mutual funds doing business between Luxembourg and London, a major insurer moving there seems highly unlikely.
Ireland’s potential post-Brexit
Lloyd's boss discusses Brexit with Prime Minister’s advisors