LONDON (Reuters) - UK-focused motor insurer St Julians, owned by Markerstudy, is considering moving to Gibraltar from Malta as a result of Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Markerstudy said on Friday.
A number of insurers that write insurance in Britain operate from Gibraltar and from Malta.
If Britain loses access to the single market after Brexit, Malta-based insurers will no longer be able to sell insurance into Britain.
Gibraltar, in contrast, is a British overseas territory, so those ties will continue.
“An application to re-domicile St Julians has been submitted to the Malta Financial Services Authority in order to protect the business and enable the insurer to continue trading with the UK,” Markerstudy said in a statement.
“The favoured proposal is to move the operation to Gibraltar.”
Markerstudy already has two insurance firms in Gibraltar focusing on UK business, Markerstudy Insurance and Zenith Insurance.
Nigel Feetham, partner at Gibraltan law firm Hassans, said Gibraltar and Malta were comparable jurisdictions for insurers.
“The system of law is not entirely dissimilar and the authorisation process and prudential regime in insurance are also very similar,” he said.
Gibraltan insurers with large exposure to the European Union are also considering moving operations, Feetham said, with Luxembourg and Malta the favoured locations.
However, Gibraltan insurer Elite, which last year said it planned a move to Luxembourg as a result of Brexit, said this week it would stop writing new business. (www.elite-insurance.co.uk/)
Reporting by Carolyn Cohn; editing by Simon Jessop and Susan Thomas