Treasury aims to lure the insurers
Move to bring back Lloyd's firms domiciled abroad to boost the nation's tax coffers
Sunday 11 August 2013
The Treasury is hoping to tempt Lloyd's of London insurers back to the UK in a move that would boost the nation's tax coffers.
Officials from the department want to lure companies such as Beazley, Brit, Catlin and Hiscox, who have re-domiciled to locations including Bermuda, Ireland and even The Netherlands in recent years.
Discussions have been held with some of these companies as part of a wider review into the market announced by Greg Clark, financial secretary to the Treasury, earlier this year.
At the time, he said he would be speaking to a "wide range of firms across the sector". The talks are understood to have included what it would take to make the UK a more attractive tax residency for insurers.
A spokeswoman for the Treasury would not confirm the nature of the talks. However, she added: "The government is committed to making the UK as competitive a business environment as possible. We recognise that the insurance industry is a key asset for this country and are determined to maintain and sharpen the sector's competitive edge.
"We are working on a growth action plan for the insurance sector and as part of this work have been asking insurers for views on what would make the UK more competitive."
The 325-year-old Lloyd's market has been one of the City's greatest successes in recent years yet some of the companies operating within it believe that not enough has been done to make Britain an attractive place for them to be domiciled.
However, not all of the traffic from the insurance industry has been out of the UK.
Aon, the global insurance broker, has already announced plans to move its corporate headquarters to London while Lancashire Holdings moved back from Bermuda having heralded the "UK government's move to be more business friendly".
Moves such as cutting the rates of corporation tax have gone down well with insurers although they will want longer-term promises from all political parties with an election due in 2015.
Other issues concerning insurers include regulation with Solvency II, the new capital rules for the industry, high on the agenda. However, this has tended to be more of a concern for life insurers with Prudential having warned in the past that it could re-domicile abroad if the rules are too onerous once they are eventually introduced.
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