Amidst the post-Brexit landscape, many insurance companies are weighing up moves to Gibraltar as the benefits of doing business with the UK from their own countries dissipates. According to leading investment group, Bentley Investments, there has been a 12% increase in firms enquiring about new office openings in the country over the last 12 months in order to do better deals across the UK and Europe.
The attraction for insurance companies is that the British Overseas Territory has seen a captive insurance domicile for 50 years. European-based insurance companies will be able to have access to the UK market if they are based in Gibraltar other than their own country.
Popularity of the country is backed up by leading estate agency Chestertons’ Gibraltar office that has reported a 48% increase in users looking for property on its website from January 1, up until October 2021, compared with the same period the previous year. The Gibraltar Financial Services Commission has also reported seeing a ‘growing volume of applications’ into the country.
Bentley Investments and Chestertons have joined forces to host a unique webinar to consider the situation key business sectors face in relation to doing business with Europe. Digital and Financial Services Minister, Albert Isola MP will be joined by Joey Garcia, considered a pioneer for the regulation of bitcoin and distributed ledger technology, with other senior business figures. Chief Minister of Gibraltar, Fabian Picardo will also give an introductory speech.
The country is renowned for its excellence in fintech, gaming, insurance, blockchain and other financial services, so the Summit Gibraltar First for Business Webinar taking place in November will look at how to make the most of a uniquely connected and positioned country, 10 months on after Brexit.
Gibraltar will remain in the Schengen zone, allowing for unrestricted travel and business transactions, making it an attractive proposition as a place to invest. Anna Cherepakhova, Director, at Bentley Investments, comments: “This webinar offers a digital opportunity to engage with key policy makers and senior business leaders to gain valuable insights into the competitive advantage offered by the jurisdiction.
“Businesses will be able to discover the inside track to a successful post-Brexit transition, how to navigate Gibraltar’s complementary UK-EU tax frameworks; access its best in class regulatory standards and optimise the advantages of a world beating digital infrastructure.”
As well as unfetted access to the UK, the advantages to business are vast for a number of sectors. For example, insurance companies operating out of Gibraltar will continue to have access to the UK market despite Brexit when EU businesses will no longer be able to operate in the UK. Business rates also compare well to other European countries. Compared to London where prime office space reaches a value of 1,341 Euros per square metre per year, or Paris at 900 Euros, Gibraltar space is approximately 435 Euros. The country has the fifth fastest internet speed in the world, is strongly regulated so can operate in the UK via passporting rights and because of the size of the country, there is no travel time lost during the day as it is easier to travel to meetings.
CEO for Chestertons, Mike Nicholls adds: “There has been a surge in interest this year, not only from investors but real people, who want to be able to move around the EU without worrying about the strict 90 day rules.
“For firms, the attraction lies in an ease of doing business here. For companies considering relocating, the Summit Webinar will provide an opportunity to hear why Gibraltar is a first for business, especially for companies based in the EU that will have difficulty dealing with the UK from now on in.
“With inflation increasing in major economies across the world, including Gibraltar at 2.4% (up from 1.4% in April and 1% in January), property is proving to be a solid store of value and remains good value for those who want to move here. We’re literally running out of property.”