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Brexit shake-up for international business

Bermuda's insurance and reinsurance sector could face a major international shake-up after the UK voted to leave the European Union.

Brad Kading, president and executive director of the Association of Bermuda Insurers and Reinsurers, said: “Abir members will be reviewing corporate structures to determine what changes in their regulatory footprints may be necessary in order to conform with expected changes in European regulatory governance.”

Mr Kading was speaking after Britain voted by about 52 per cent to 48 per cent to quit the 28-nation EU, where it has been a member for 43 years.

He said: “Bermuda's Solvency II equivalence finding by the European Union will service us well as the UK negotiates its multiyear transition out of the EU.

“The Bermuda equivalency is unaffected by the UK vote.”

Mr Kading added that Abir has “excellent relationships” with both the UK and EU policymakers and regulators.

He said: “Abir members provide vital insurance capacity that makes UK and EU insurance markets more competitive.”

He added: “Meanwhile, we encourage the Bermuda Government and the Bermuda Monetary Authority to continue their wise investment in bilateral relationships that lead to important legal agreement on tax co-operation and transparency and recognition of robust BMA regulation that is in compliance with international standards.

“These essential actions are necessary to ensure we retain level playing field access to the world's markets.”

Ross Webber, CEO of the Bermuda Business Development Agency, added: “There is naturally much speculation and uncertainty over the vote's political implications, as well as its socio-economic impact, and industry around the world will be closely monitoring how this affects the markets and business landscapes of the EU, Britain and their respective trade partners.”

He added: “In a global economy, Bermuda is affected, like other nations, by such major events.”

But he added that Bermuda was “better placed than ever to cater to the contemporary needs of international business.”

Mr Webber predicted: “Attributes such as our stand-alone Solvency II equivalence with the EU and our progressive path towards Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive passport rights in Europe may now appear even more attractive than they were a day ago.

“These are examples of regulatory votes of confidence given to Bermuda as a robust jurisdiction in its own right and not contingent on our relationship with Britain.”

And he added that Bermuda had a good relationship with the EU's Brussels headquarters “nurtured over decades of collaborative efforts by our government, industry and regulator”.

Mr Webber said: “We stand ready to deal with myriad eventualities, No matter how the exit unfolds, we remind our business partners in the UK that Bermuda continues to offer the same, stable, attractive, effective and proven blue-chip international business domicile as it has for the past 70-plus years.”

Bradley Kading (Photograph by Mark Tatem)

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Published June 24, 2016 at 2:14 pm (Updated June 24, 2016 at 2:33 pm)

Brexit shake-up for international business

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