Brexit presents an opportunity for London's prized insurance sector to target priority markets like China and India, the UK's insurance trade body has said.
The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has put a together a framework for future trade agreements with non-EU countries for the Treasury and Department for International Trade.
“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," said Hugh Savill, the ABI's director of regulation.
“Our industry has needs and priorities that are different to other parts of the financial services sector," he said.
One of the terms the ABI proposed was relaxing rules on foreign ownership to help firms achieve a controlling stake. The trade body also proposed regulations on data transfer to be freed up so that firms can move data over borders in a way that allows them to properly assess risk and to underwrite it, and to ensure the inclusion of pension and savings products so UK firms can compete on long-term savings products in a larger number of countries.
The ABI said its framework could be inserted directly into future trade agreements on financial services as they are negotiated with specific countries.
“Having worked closely with our members and with experienced trade negotiators, we can now offer a framework to government which should serve a very practical purpose in upcoming trade negotiations, and help maintain London’s position as an international centre for insurance," said Savill, who is a former trade negotiator himself.
"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."