joins a growing list of finance industry companies that have
said they may have to shift operations to continental Europe to
maintain links to customers after Brexit.
Speaking at the same conference, trade minister Mark Garnier
said the government was listening to the financial industry's
concerns over Brexit. "We will aim to limit uncertainty
surrounding business," Garnier said.
"The government fully understands the implications of Brexit for
the financial services industry," Garnier told insurance trade
body ABI's annual conference.
Banks, insurers and asset managers in Britain fear losing access
to the EU's single market, and a damaging "cliff edge" effect of
leaving the bloc if there are no transitional arrangements ahead
of any new trading terms agreed with the EU.
Anthony Baldwin, chief executive of AIG's European and UK arms,
said the group might decide in the coming year to move its
European head office from London to an EU country after Brexit,
though it would still maintain a big London hub. AIG has around
2,500 staff in Britain.
Baldwin told reporters on the sidelines of the conference he was
looking at half a dozen locations, including Dublin, though the
impact on staffing would not be material if the headquarters
moved out of London.
"At a certain point in time you have to pull the trigger in the
absence of any clarity on where negotiations are going with the
transition period," Baldwin told the conference.
"We will always continue to have a big London hub but we might
have a European headquarters elsewhere," he said.
The Lloyd's of London insurance market, underwriters Hiscox <HSX.L>
and Beazley <BEZG.L>, and motor insurer Admiral <ADML.L> have
also said they might shift operations from London to centers
Huw Evans, director general of the ABI, said the insurance
industry should not moan about the Brexit vote, but instead
engage with politicians to find a way forward and minimize risks
to the sector.
British Prime Minister Theresa May has said she will start
formal divorce talks with the EU by the end of March.
"That timetable has not changed," Garnier said.
(Reporting by Huw Jones, editing by Carolyn Cohn and Jane
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