Britain Insurers see China, India as top priority non-EU markets after Brexit

An EU flag is waved near the Houses of Parliament in central London, Britain September 22, 2017. REUTERS/Toby Melville

Vastavam web: Insurers see China and India as top priority non-EU markets once Britain leaves the European Union and want bilateral trade deals to ensure those states relax restrictions on foreign ownership, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) said on Thursday.The ABI said it was offering Britain’s finance ministry and Department for International Trade a “template” for dealing with financial services that could be inserted into trade deals.The template is part of lobbying efforts by insurers which worry that their concerns could be overshadowed by the banking industry as they seek to win the ear of government in trade negotiations during and after Brexit.

The EU does not currently have trade deals with China or India. North America and Europe make up the bulk of Britain’s international business in general insurance.ABI’s proposals include relaxing foreign ownership rules so insurers can take controlling stakes in companies in those countries, looser regulations on data transfer and the inclusion of pension and savings products in any trade deals.Foreign firms cannot now take majority stakes in insurers in those countries, although China has said it plans to relax the rules.