Saturday 29 April 2017

Thirty insurers looking at post-Brexit Irish move

Sylvia Cronin, director of insurance supervision at Central Bank
Sylvia Cronin, director of insurance supervision at Central Bank

Colm Kelpie Brexit Correspondent

Thirty insurance firms have either expressed interest in setting up here in recent months due to Brexit or sought authorisation, the Central Bank has said.

A day after US insurer AIG announced it was setting up an operation in Luxembourg, in a blow to Dublin's post-Brexit ambitions, the regulator here said five companies have sought authorisation as insurance or reinsurance undertakings since November, and another five have signalled a firm intention to do so.

A further 20 insurance entities have contacted the Central Bank to discuss authorisation, Sylvia Cronin, director of insurance supervision, said.

"Unlike other financial sectors, insurance firms are not generally waiting for Article 50 to be triggered before implementing their strategies on location," Ms Cronin said at a KPMG-organised event yesterday.

Ms Cronin said that the Central Bank was open to "discussion and engagement with any applicant". AIG, which already has an office here but doesn't write business, said on Wednesday that from 2019 it is proposing to have two AIG subsidiary insurance companies based in Europe.

One would be in the United Kingdom to write UK business and one in Luxembourg for European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss business.

AIG currently writes business in Europe from a single insurance company based in the UK.

Ireland made a pitch for the insurance giant, with senior executives meeting both Finance Minister Michael Noonan and Financial Services Minister Eoghan Murphy last year.

Lloyd's, the world's largest specialty insurance market, is expected to pick a location for its EU subsidiary by the end of March, with Dublin and Luxembourg on its shortlist.

Major banks have said they plan to set up EU subsidiaries to continue to be able to sell their services across the bloc, but few have announced concrete decisions.

Irish Independent

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