Currencies

Asia markets tentative ahead of Opec meeting

Wednesday 2.30am GMT Overview Markets across Asia were treading cautiously on Wednesday, following mild overnight gains for Wall Street, a weakening of the US dollar and as investors turned their attention to a meeting between Opec members later today. What to watch Oil prices are in focus ahead of Wednesday’s Opec meeting in Vienna. The […]

Continue Reading

Banks, Financial

RBS emerges as biggest failure in tough UK bank stress tests

Royal Bank of Scotland has emerged as the biggest failure in the UK’s annual stress tests, forcing the state-controlled lender to present regulators with a new plan to bolster its capital position by at least £2bn. Barclays and Standard Chartered also failed to meet some of their minimum hurdles in the toughest stress scenario ever […]

Continue Reading

Banks

Barclays: life in the old dog yet

Barclays, a former basket case of British banking, is beginning to look inspiringly mediocre. The bank has failed Bank of England stress tests less resoundingly than Royal Bank of Scotland. Investors believe its assets are worth only 10 per cent less than their book value, judging from the share price. Although Barclays’s legal team have […]

Continue Reading

Currencies, Equities

Scary movie sequel beckons for eurozone markets

Just as horror movies can spook fright nerds more than they expect, so political risk is sparking heightened levels of anxiety among seasoned investors. Investors caught out by Brexit and Donald Trump are making better preparations for political risk in Europe, plotting a route to the exit door if the unfolding story of French, German […]

Continue Reading

Currencies

Dollar rises as markets turn eyes to Opec

European bourses are mirroring a tentative Asia session as the dollar continues to be supported by better US economic data and investors turn their attention to a meeting between Opec members. Sentiment is underpinned by US index futures suggesting the S&P 500 will gain 3 points to 2,207.3 when trading gets under way later in […]

Continue Reading

Categorized | Banks, Insurance

Ireland’s central bank boosts staff for Brexit insurers


Posted on November 27, 2016

Ireland’s insurance regulator has increased its staff numbers by more than a quarter ahead of an expected influx of applications from London-based insurers looking to move operations following the Brexit vote.

London-based insurers are looking at options if the UK loses so-called “passporting” rights after Brexit that allow them to operate elsewhere in Europe, including relocation of some of their operations. Last week AIG became the latest insurer to warn it was considering moving its European base away from London.

The Central Bank of Ireland (CBI), which regulates the industry, is already fielding enquiries, according to Sylvia Cronin, the bank’s director of insurance supervision. Dublin is seen as an attractive alternative to London given its proximity, language and skilled workforce.

“I’m staffing up for the first half of 2017 because of the increased number of enquiries in Q3,” said Ms Cronin. “My sense was that companies wouldn’t come and talk to regulators until there was some more substance [over Brexit], but the opposite seems to be occurring. Due to the uncertainty, companies are proactively approaching us.”

Ms Cronin adds that, although it is still early in the process, she has increased her staff numbers to deal with Brexit and the EU’s new Solvency II capital rules.

“It’s being able to respond to the demand and being sure that we deliver on our service standards. Since the beginning of the year, we have grown our team by over 25 per cent and will grow further.”

Dublin already hosts a large number of insurance and reinsurance companies, which makes it easier for new entrants to recruit specialist staff.

Dublin is also on the shortlist for banks and asset managers looking for an alternative point of entry to the EU after Brexit. While the insurance team is staffing up, the CBI has publicly complained about skills shortages in its banking supervision department, in part owing to pay restraints that were imposed in the financial crisis and departures of staff to the European Central Bank’s new single supervisory mechanism.

Those shortages have triggered fears that it will take years for the CBI to deal with the expected influx of banks. Some banks have also reported a cold welcome from the CBI, which was badly burnt in the Irish financial crisis.

An insider at the CBI disputed suggestions that Ireland did not want or could not cope with an influx of new banks. He said the country was very much “open to engagement” and would “make sure that we dedicated sufficient resources to deal with whatever we are presented with in a timely manner”. The ECB will ultimately have the final say on licence applications for any large bank.

Of the insurers, so far only Beazley, which already has an operation in Dublin, has said that it plans to increase its activities in the city. Aviva, meanwhile, is thinking of turning its Irish branch into a full subsidiary.

Dublin is not the only name in the frame though. Insurers are also looking at Germany, France, Luxembourg and Malta as possible new homes.