London-based insurer Beazley forging ahead with Dublin hub

Lloyd’s of London underwriter wants to ensure continued EU access post-Brexit

Lloyd’s of London itself has chosen to base its post-Brexit subsidiary in Brussels. Photograph: iStock

Lloyd’s of London itself has chosen to base its post-Brexit subsidiary in Brussels. Photograph: iStock

 

Lloyd’s of London insurer Beazley said on Thursday its regulatory application to set up a European hub in Dublin to give it continued access to the European Union market after Brexit is progressing well.

The underwriter, which provides marine, casualty and property insurance and reinsurance made the comments as it posted a trading update that disappointed analysts and sent shares in the London-listed group down as much as 3.4 per cent.

“We continue to make good progress with our application to obtain approval from the Central Bank of Ireland for Beazley Re DAC to become a European insurance company,” Beazley said in the trading statement.

Beazley’s commitment to setting up an EU hub in Ireland comes even as Lloyd’s of London, the world’s largest and oldest insurance market, decided last month against Dublin as it chose Brussels to base its post-Brexit EU subsidiary.

Hiscox to Luxembourg

This week, another leading Lloyd’s of London insurer, Hiscox, announced that it is setting up a new unit in Luxembourg. It had also been looking at Ireland.

Beazley, which moved its domicile from Dublin to London early last year but retained a presence in Ireland, first flagged its intention to set up an EU base in the Republic within four weeks of UK voters’ decision last June to quit the union. It had shifted its headquarters to the Republic more than seven years ago for tax reasons.

Meanwhile, Beazley said on Thursday that its gross insurance premiums written in the three months to the end of March dropped 2 per cent to $537 million (€494 million) on the same period last year. Canaccord analyst Ben Cohen said that the premiums figure was “materially lower” than consensus expectations.