CBL Corporation has said it expects there to be no effect on its European business, whether or not Britain decides to leave the European Union.
Managing director Peter Harris
, revealed what the company planned to do, should the referendum this Thursday lead Britain to exit the EU in a statement to the market this week.
“CBL Insurance DAC, CBL’s European insurer is domiciled in Ireland, which is not affected by B ritain’s decision,” Harris said.
“And we have already confirmed to our employees at European Insurance Services Ltd (EISL) in Tunbridge Wells UK, who write business in France, that if Britain decides to leave the EU then EISL will remain operating in Tunbridge Wells, and shift its legal domicile, probably to Ireland.
“Either way it will be business as usual,” Harris confirmed.
The statement comes in the final days before the historic referendum was due to take place, and as insurance leaders in the UK pushed for the nation to remain.
Chairman of the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA), Lord David Hunt, urged members to make their voices count, commenting that he was firmly in the ‘remain’ camp.
“Quite apart from the wider, powerful arguments about peace and prosperity in Europe and the need for British engagement and leadership at a dangerous time in the world, I believe that remaining in the EU would be a vote for business stability over uncertainty,” he said.
“A ‘remain’ vote would stimulate investment and boost confidence that we will be able to continue to trade freely under the EU freedom of services provision. That, in turn, would benefit both us within the sector and also our customers.”
The Association of British Insurers (ABI) also issued its own release with more than 20 leaders of insurance and long-term savings associations across Europe signing a letter urging the UK to remain a member of the EU.
“We believe it is in everyone’s interest – the UK and the EU – for the UK to remain,” their letter said.
“And we will be watching and hoping that the result means that constructive relationship will continue with the UK playing a full role as a full EU member.
“The UK is an active and positive partner which also has a firm and critical eye and is willing to challenge as required.
“This brings results for the UK, and is healthy for the whole of the EU. No-one can doubt its contribution has been positive for all.”
Aon plc CEO Greg Case, who recently moved the insurance broker’s headquarters to London from Chicago, also had strong words.
“In our world, risk is inevitable and we manage it accordingly. But leaving the EU is an unnecessary gamble.”
Case said the UK’s centuries-long leadership in the industry would be damaged if voters chose to leave.
He said Aon may not be able to provide the same coverage options to clients if trade barriers increase. He also said the company would find it harder to recruit and retain top talent.
CEO Peter Hancock also joined the debate, saying he would consider establishing a European operations hub beyond London if the ‘leave’ side prevailed.
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