If your insurance company needs to set up an EU-office, then you’ve left it late in the day. But where is the most popular location? Lichtenstein perhaps, how about the cosmopolitan Netherlands, or sensible Sweden, where people recklessly enjoy walking about in the fresh air without wearing a Hazmat suit and being tracked by Serco?
Nope, it’s Belgium. In getting ready for Brexit, Belgium has emerged as the preferred location for an EU entity so that London brokers are able to continue to support their European clients in 2021 and beyond.
In a survey undertaken by LIIBA, nearly a quarter of broking houses have chosen Belgium. Ireland and France were the next most popular locations accounting for 16% each.
Christopher Croft, CEO of LIIBA commented: “Brokers have worked hard to ensure that they are prepared for Brexit. Our members have taken prudent and positive steps to ensure that they have ‘reverse branches’ in place to be in a position to continue to support their clients in the EU. We are confident that whatever the outcome of the negotiations, London will still be able to play a key role in helping European businesses to manage their risks
“We are not surprised that so many of our members have chosen Belgium as the location for their EU entity. The Ministry of Finance took a proactive and pragmatic approach to creating a regulatory, tax and employment framework that provided a first-class solution for brokers. We are grateful to them for the support they have shown.
“Deal or no deal is unlikely to make any difference for brokers because there is no equivalence framework for insurance distribution. The almost complete focus on the concept of equivalence by both our government and EU has meant we have always known we would need to make our own arrangements to carry on acting in the best interests of our clients. It is good to see that our members have done that challenging and expensive work and that their clients can look beyond the end of the year with confidence.”