Admiral has announced plans to establish an EU hub in Spain as it looks to safeguard its access to the EU following the UK’s exit from the EU.
Within its 2017 results announcement, the motor insurer had already filed applications to the regulator in Spain for permission to underwrite all the EU insurance business (Admiral Seguros, ConTe and L’olivier) from there and expects to have everything up and running in advance of any “hard deadline” that might eventually become clear.
Admiral Group CFO Geraint Jones said: “We have made good progress on preparing the Group to be able to continue trading in Europe should, as seems highly likely, we lose the ability to passport our UK regulatory licenses into those markets.”
He explained that Spain made sense for a number of reasons, “not least the fact that we already have people and infrastructure in Madrid and Seville and of course an existing relationship with the regulator”.
Admiral is also making arrangements in Spain to house its price comparison business, which Jones explained: “things are more straightforward on the price comparison side where we are setting up new, locally regulated entities in Spain and France through which Rastreator and LeLynx will trade.”
The insurer expects to receive the necessary approvals from the Spanish regulator this year.
Jones said that the cost of this Brexit-related restructuring work would not be material to the group and doesn’t expect a material impact on the group’s regulatory capital position as a result of the restructure.
Admiral’s decision to make arrangements in Spain has bucked the trend, with many carriers opting to establish EU hubs in the Grand Duchy, while Lloyd’s has opted for Brussels.