Insurer Prudential dusts off plans to leave the UK over EU regulations Solvency II

Jessica Morris
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Prudential has large operations in the US and Asia (Source: Getty)

One of the UK's largest insurers is reportedly mulling upping sticks in favour of Hong Kong or Singapore ahead of European Union regulations which are set to be introduced next year.

Prudential is dusting off plans drawn up over three years ago to move its corporate base out of Britain and into Asia, according to the Sunday Times.

Chancellor George Osborne recently bowed to pressure from banks such as HSBC which were threatening to move their operations out of the UK over the bank levy

Read more: Bye-bye HSBC? The British bank is eyeing a move abroad

Prudential's pivot eastwards would be part of a bid to avoid tough new European Union rules for insurers known as "Solvency II" which are scheduled to come into force in January.

The FTSE 100-listed company is worried that the official body responsible for implementing the new rules, the Prudential Regulation Authority, won't take kindly to its large US and Asian operations.

Prudential's operations in Asia made £632m pre-tax profit in the first half of 2015, while its US business made £846m. This compares to £711m made by its UK arm.

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