Speaking to the Association of British Insurers, UK Economic Secretary Stephen Barclay said in Brexit negotiations the government would prioritise the “three essential components” of regulatory standards that match international requirements, cooperation between supervisors, and creating permanent and predictable systems that give the business world the stability needed for long-term success.
Barclay, said; “We are on a firm footing to achieve this. The Bank of England, the PRA and FCA are rightly respected around the world for the quality of their market oversight, their expertise and their willingness to lead on the setting of global standards. It is a role they will continue to play.”
The Economic Secretary said that as the government looks to rewrite the rules for re/insurance regulation, it aims to create an evidence-based and transparent system that is respected internationally and compatible with global requirements for business operations.
And in the same vein, arrangements for cooperation between supervisors of various jurisdictions, he said, must be “reciprocal, reliable, and prioritise financial stability.”
In addition to a robust and internationally compatible post-Brexit re/insurance business environment, Barclay said avoiding a dangerous cliff edge with a safe transitional arrangement would be a major focus.
He reassured that the British government’s priority would be to ensure trade in services and goods and investment can continue uninterrupted.
The Economic Secretary opened the floor for ongoing dialogue on how to streamline and improve re/insurers’ operating environment; “Prior to becoming an MP, I worked in both the insurance and banking sectors, and at the City regulator. I plan to bring that industry focus to bear in discussions within Whitehall and beyond.
“I know that my job will involve a great deal of listening to your concerns, and indeed your ideas for growth and investment. But it will also be about showing you that we’re acting on what you tell us.”
Barriers to access to global talent have been a concern for UK re/insurers – already operating in an industry where finding and retaining top talent is becoming increasingly challenging.
In light of the uncertainty surrounding UK businesses’ ability to successfully attract and employ talent from across the globe, Barclay said; “The British people understand the importance of businesses being able to access global talent and to move individuals around their organisations.
“So, I believe the British people understand that while we should seek to manage migration, we should not seek to shut it down.”
Insurance is an important sector in the UK economy, making a massive contribution of £12 billion of taxes paid, £35 billion contributed to the economy, and directly employing 112,000 in insurance and double this figure including those indirectly employed, according to Barclay.
The UK economy is 80% service-based, and re/insurance is a vital component of the service industries the country depends on, with an EU market share estimated at over £12 billion.