By Diliff (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons
The insurance trade body of the United Kingdom has said that Brexit offers an opportunity for the prized insurance sector of London to eye priority markets such as India and China.
The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has established a framework for future trade agreements with countries outside of the European Union for the Treasury and the Department for International Trade.
The director of regulation of the ABI, Hugh Savill, stated: “The UK’s insurance and long-term savings sector is already the fourth largest in the world and is ready to be at the forefront of helping secure Britain’s prosperity after Brexit.”
He added: “Our industry has needs and priorities that are different to other parts of the financial services sector.”
Part of the terms that the ABI proposed was relaxing the rules on foreign ownership to help the firms achieve a controlling stake. The trade body also recommended regulations on data transfer to be freed up so that companies will be able to move data over borders in a manner that allows them to assess risk properly and to underwrite it. Also, it proposed to ensure the inclusion of savings and pension products so firms in the United Kingdom can compete on long-term savings products in a bigger number of countries.
The ABI said that its framework could be directly included in future trade agreements on financial services as they are arranged with specific countries.
Savill is a former trade negotiator himself. He stated: “Having worked closely with our members and with experienced trade negotiators, we can now offer a framework to the government which should serve a very practical purpose in upcoming trade negotiations, and help maintain London’s position as an international centre for insurance.
“Since a number of our members have been operating internationally for decades we have access to unique expertise to help shape the terms and conditions of future trade deals that would apply to us. We’ll continue to make our expertise available to government in the years ahead.”