Insurers urged to choose Belgium – for waffles

Luxembourg, Dublin and Paris may not be able to compete with this temptation

Insurers urged to choose Belgium – for waffles

Insurance News

By Terry Gangcuangco

It looks like the fastest way to insurers’ hearts could be though the stomach – if Brussels was serious about luring relocating firms with waffles and, well, high-quality beer.

At a breakfast briefing for insurance firms, Belgium’s deputy director of economic and financial policy reportedly told insurers not only about the country’s strong regulatory regime but also about beer and the famous Belgian waffles.

Sure, it was a joke by Tom Franck but it just might work, as he revealed to The Mail that there could be more good news following moves by Lloyd’s of London and Australian insurer QBE.   

Sharing that talks are ongoing with a few companies, Franck is hopeful that in the long run moves to Belgium would lead to big operations. “Headquarters have trickle-on effects down the road. You move some activities, and see if it works or not,” he was quoted as saying.
Meanwhile, QBE already has at least 70 employees in Brussels and the chief executive of its operation in Europe has said that the Belgian city represents the biggest existing European presence for the business.

Announcing the Brussels pick earlier this month, Richard Pryce was quoted by the Financial Times as saying, “We have an operation that is scalable and we know the regulator. In the end it wasn’t a particularly difficult decision.”

As for Lloyd’s of London, CEO Inga Beale has told Bloomberg that Brussels will always allow them to operate with the changes that Brexit will bring. “We can secure continuous investment from our European partners, seamlessly,” she said.

Beale cited Brussels’ “robust reputation for regulation and multilingual talent.” Lloyd’s intends to move about 100 jobs to the Belgium hub.

Related stories:
Mapfre Global Risks bucks the Brexit trend
Why insurers are turning away from Dublin

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