Ireland: still at the centre

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1 Ireland: still at the centre

2 Shauna Collins from the Non-Bank Financial Institutions team at Barclays gives her view on the captive insurance market, and the growing role that Ireland is playing in this arena. A captive is an insurance or reinsurance undertaking that provides cover exclusively for the risks of its parent group. The Channel Islands and Bermuda are recognised as key centres for the captive insurance market but, with more than two decades as a captives centre, Dublin is one of the most experienced markets in Europe. As new jurisdictions for captive insurance emerge there may be a perception that established domiciles including Ireland have had their heyday and reached a saturation point. However, the combination of favourable regulation, access to European markets, and the Irish government s ongoing focus on competitiveness, foreign direct investment and financial services, will ensure that Ireland remains a force to be reckoned with and maintains a strong competitive position as an attractive location for captives. According to a survey published by the Centre for the Study of Financial Innovation (CSFI) and PwC in July 2013, excessive regulation is currently the biggest risk faced by insurers worldwide. The Insurance Banana Skins survey lists the top concerns of the industry, and regulation remains in the top position. Day to day, we re seeing regulation high on the agenda for our clients and the industry remains active in looking for ways to improve this. The captive industry has continued to work with the Central Bank of Ireland (CBOI) to ensure that regulatory change does not disadvantage the captives sector, is appropriate for the business model, and is a precursor to Solvency II. This partnership approach will effectively give the industry a long-term regulatory infrastructure which will not need future amendment to meet the requirements of Solvency II. Competitive advantage The fourth highest ranked concern for insurance firms, according to the survey, is business practices, which is of particular note due to its previous rank of 18. In Ireland, however, we re seeing a strong investment in the business support services infrastructure, including legal, actuarial and auditing services, with a specific focus on captive insurance. 2 of 5

3 The CBOI has been regulating captives for many years and has worked actively with the industry on issues such as developing a corporate governance code for captives. It is of particular note that the Irish captives industry first brought the unique nature of captives to the attention of the EU as the Solvency II framework directive was being developed. Ireland has intentionally placed itself in a strong position as a continued preferred location for captives as it offers a captive-friendly regulator, skilled resources and a competitive cost environment. At Barclays, we re pleased to be active in the strong, well-established international insurance and reinsurance market, particularly in Ireland from where many of the world s leading companies operate. Ireland is a full member of the EU and has implemented both the Third Non-Life directive and the Reinsurance directive so that captives, regulated by the CBOI, can write business on a passporting basis. With its proximity to London, this makes business with brokers and other insurance entities within the London Market very feasible. Continued focus on FDI and global corporates The Irish government continues to see Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) as crucial in the drive towards economic recovery. Financial services generate 83 billion through FDI in Ireland, accounting for 43 percent of all FDI, and is a sector that the government has taken active steps to support through various regulatory, fiscal and educational commitments. In the lead up to the implementation of Solvency II, a number of smaller or dormant captives have exited Europe, creating a vibrant captive industry, with many owners looking to expand their operations to include international benefits programmes. This holds significant opportunities for Ireland, which is second only to Hong Kong in terms of its connectivity to the rest of the world. The macro-economic environment During the economic downturn, banks with strong credit ratings saw a huge influx of client monies, as clients spread their liquidity between four or five banks, whereas previously it was concentrated in two to three. This has meant that the deposit market has flattened somewhat, and we re seeing increasing importance put on operational banking. 3 of 5

4 This is supported in the Insurance Banana Skins survey, where the macro-economic environment was placed third in the top 10 worries of insurance firms. As one of the highest rated domestic regulated banks in Ireland, Barclays Bank Ireland has developed a number of relationships within the captive insurance market via the main captive insurance management service providers. With the ability to offer deposits and interest-bearing current accounts, Barclays is well positioned to support clients within the captive insurance market and increasingly offers bespoke banking services to captive insurance companies seeking security for their cash in these uncertain times. remain at the centre of the captive insurance market for years to come, and we are excited about continuing to play an active role in the growth and development of the industry. A thriving sector The deputy governor of the CBOI, Matthew Elderfield, is publicly on record as a keen advocate of the reinsurance sector, recognising the role it plays in the international financial services sector in Ireland and as a hub for pan-european activities. Ireland has intentionally placed itself in a strong position as a continued preferred location for captives as it offers a captive-friendly regulator, skilled resources, a competitive cost environment, and access to the European market and welldeveloped insurance and investment sectors. At Barclays, we believe that Ireland is likely to 4 of 5

5 If you would like to find out more about the support Barclays can offer, please contact your Relationship Director. barclays.com/corporatebanking Every attempt has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate. However, neither Barclays Bank PLC ( Barclays ) nor any of its employees makes any representation or warranty (express or implied) in relation to the accuracy, reliability or completeness of any information or assumptions on which this document may be based and cannot be held responsible for any errors. No liability is accepted by Barclays (or any of its affiliates) for any loss (whether direct or indirect) arising from the use of the information provided. Barclays is a trading name of Barclays Bank PLC and its subsidiaries. Barclays Bank PLC is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority (Financial Services Register No ). Registered in England. Registered number is with registered office at 1 Churchill Place, London E14 5HP. August BM404611R.

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