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Richards defends Bermuda finance sector at Brussels talks

Bermuda re/insurers are expected ultimately to pay 62 percent of the claims of the UK’s largest peacetime fire and explosion the Buncefield oil terminal fires of 2005.

This from Finance Minister Bob Richards in support of Bermuda’s financial sector after talks this week with EU officials in Brussels.

“Stakeholders at home and abroad want evidence that the Government is doing what it says,” Mr Richards said.

“The meetings directly support our commitment to the financial services sector.”

A Government spokesperson said Mr Richards on Wednesday concluded meetings with various agencies and departments in Brussels held on June 4 and 5 to discuss matters related to financial services, tax, and audit.

The Minister met with representatives within the EU Commission, the UK Permanent Representation and the EU Parliament to discuss matters of common interest. The Minister was joined by Brussels based Counsel to the Government of Bermuda.

“The Ministry is committed to helping Bermuda’s financial institutions succeed in Europe,” the Government said.

“The starting point is a clear understanding of the current reality. Bermuda is ranked in the top 10 percent of regulators according to the World Bank’s Governance Indicator Report. In addition, financial activity between Bermuda and Europe grew from $212 billion in 2000 to just under $740 billion in 2011, according to the 2012 Bermuda in the World Economy Report. Bermuda companies write 27 percent of the broker-placed European reinsurance and are expected ultimately to pay 62 percent of the claims of the UK’s largest peacetime fire and explosion- the Buncefield oil terminal fires of 2005.

The Minister also attended the Association of Bermuda Insurers and Reinsurers Sixth Annual International Insurance Regulatory Issues Dialogue held in Brussels on June 4 where he met with other representatives of the EU Commission, members of the Bermuda insurance market.

“The broader environment in which business operates has been altered. In Bermuda, financial institutions are the most directly affected by the changes in external regulatory policy,” Mr Richards said.

“This is especially true in areas such as insurance, asset management, banking, and trust business. The trip is part of a broader effort to build goodwill and confidence in Bermuda.”

Bermuda officials have been summoned to London this month for talks by Prime Minister David Cameron as he pushes for more transparency to end what he terms the “scourge of tax evasion”.

Finance Minister Bob Richards: Trip to Brussels

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Published June 07, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated June 06, 2013 at 7:34 pm)

Richards defends Bermuda finance sector at Brussels talks

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