The Central Bank has received five insurance authorisation applications in the past four months as firms prepare for the fallout from Brexit, while a further five companies have signalled a "firm intention" to apply to be regulated in Ireland, according to the country's head of insurance regulation.
Speaking at an event in Dublin, Sylvia Cronin, director of insurance supervision at the bank, said: "We have been contacted by approximately another 20 insurance entities to discuss authorisation. Unlike other financial sectors, insurance firms are not waiting for article 50 to be triggered before implementing their strategies on location."
She was referring to article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty which came into force in 2009 and sets out the process of leaving the European Union. The UK is expected to invoke the article later this month, starting two years of exit talks.
The comments come a day after US insurance giant AIG, which currently employs 400 staff in Ireland, decided to relocate its European regional headquarters from London to Luxembourg instead of Dublin.
However, Minister of State for Financial Services Eoghan Murphy told The Irish Times on Wednesday that he was "confident" that a number of international firms would announce decisions to base key operations in Ireland by the end of the year.
Lloyd’s of London insurance underwriter Beazley has already said it planned to hire additional staff in Ireland to establish a European insurance company in Dublin, while rival Hiscox is also believed to have shortlisted Dublin for setting up a base to service EU clients after Brexit. Cardiff-based motor insurance group Admiral has also signalled it may move business to Dublin.
Ms Cronin said that while the Central Bank was “open to discussion and engagement on any application”, a firm would not be authorised “unless it demonstrates compliance with the requirements specified in law”.