Brexit: the roadmap ahead

We were delighted to present the views of the insurance industry at the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Insurance and Financial Services last month.

Sharing the panel with senior representatives of the Association of British Insurers, the London Market Group, the British Insurance Brokers’ Association and the Association of Professional Financial Advisors; we were able to present the findings from the firm’s insights report, Brexit: the insurers speak, which we published in May 2016.

Overall, the key messages offered to the APPG were:

  • Uncertainty remains the biggest concern. Many firms conduct business in London not only to secure access into the Single Market but because London is considered the financial hub. Ongoing uncertainty now presents the possibility of a wholesale relocation of the London Market outside of the EU.
  • Passporting is a vital issue for those insurers to whom the passport matters. There are, however, many other important considerations for the wider industry as it reviews its contingency plans. These cover data protection concerns to tax efficiency, and movement of workers to supply chain issues.
  • The significance of the branch network for insurers and the need to have in place a comprehensive plan around the regulatory environment when the UK leaves the EU and transitions into Brexit. Transition is crucial and under critical time pressure.
  • The need for a realistic assessment of migration to prevent damage to the economy. The industry requires access to a talent pool of a sufficient size that reflects the market it is serving.
  • Opportunities include seeking a wider role of the regulators in order to support the market and new products, thereby sustaining business capabilities and promoting the UK.
  • The UK also has a chance to form closer bi-lateral agreements with countries it has not historically had flexible relationships with, such as China, thereby fostering innovation.

Hearing some (be it cautious) optimism about Brexit at the discussion was indeed encouraging. However, it is clear that the road ahead may not be straightforward – as indicated by the resignation yesterday of the UK’s ambassador to the EU, Sir Ivan Rogers.

In the first of our updates for the New Year, we provide an overview of where we are, what the important questions are for the insurance sector and what our predictions are as to how Brexit may unfold.

Related item: Visit our Brexit focus area for latest updates