Tuesday 6 December 2016

Lloyd's of London could look to Dublin if UK loses EU access

Published 06/09/2016 | 02:30

‘If we are not able to access the single market... the inevitable consequences for Lloyd’s will be that we will transact the business onshore in the EU,’ its chairman said. Photo: Bloomberg
‘If we are not able to access the single market... the inevitable consequences for Lloyd’s will be that we will transact the business onshore in the EU,’ its chairman said. Photo: Bloomberg

Specialist insurance market Lloyd's of London could move some of its staff to Ireland should the UK lose its access to the Single European Market as part of the Brexit negotiations.

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The umbrella group said it is looking at setting up 'onshore' businesses that would include the establishment of branches in European member states, a spokesman told the Irish Independent.

Lloyd's currently rates all of its European business, which amounts to around 11pc of its gross written premiums, from its London headquarters and ensured the firm's head office would be staying there.

A spokesperson for the market didn't rule out Ireland as a potential destination for the firm's overseas branches.

Lloyd's main market remains in the US with 85pc invested in the market coming from abroad.

In an interview with BBC Radio yesterday, Lloyd's chairman John Nelson said the Brexit talks will require a joined-up and decisive government.

"If we are not able to access the single market, either through passporting rights or other means, the inevitable consequences for Lloyd's - and indeed other insurance organisations - will be that we will transact the business onshore in the EU - and that obviously will impact on London's competitive position.

"Brexit should, though, present us with opportunities. Ensuring that the UK financial sector remains competitive must be top of the [British] government's post-Brexit plans. Access to the single market is part of that but not all of it," he said.

The insurance industry remains one of the key sectors that the UK is leading from London and the June referendum may pose a threat to the UK's market leadership.

Meanwhile, Irish authorities are seeking to hire experienced UK regulators before an anticipated influx of financial-services companies following Britain's decision to exit the European Union, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Irish regulators and officials are tapping business and personal networks to identify potential hires who have Irish connections or may be open to moving to Dublin, said a second person, who didn't want to be identified as the plans are not yet public.

Among other roles, the Central Bank is seeking a banking risk analyst and enforcement lawyers. Authorities are said to be keen on recruiting current and former staff at the Financial Conduct Authority.

It has been estimated that Brexit could push about €6bn of investment into Ireland. (Additional reporting from Bloomberg)

Irish Independent

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