Royal London is to convert its existing business in Ireland into a subsidiary to allow the insurer to continue to do business in the Irish market once Britain leaves the EU in a year’s time.
The UK’s largest mutual insurer – with funds under management of more than £100bn (€115bn) – said last week it was confident that there would be no “significant impact to the operations or capital strength of the group”.
The company said: “We are in the process of establishing a subsidiary in the Republic of Ireland to enable our existing business to trade there after the UK leaves the EU. This mitigates any uncertainty for Royal London from the UK leaving the EU.”
The move comes as the countdown to Brexit pushes past the 12-month mark and UK financial services companies increasingly seek ways to remain part of the wider EU market.
Ireland has been among many European countries actively seeking to attract UK companies in the wake of the 2016 referendum result. It is already home to €2.4trn in assets, according to the European Fund and Asset Management Association, making it the second biggest fund domicile in the EU after Luxembourg.
Earlier this year, Michael D’Arcy, minister of state at Ireland’s Department of Finance, told CNBC, the US news channel: “We’re saying to people, if there are difficulties, Ireland can be part of the solution for passporting.”
In the first 12 months following the June 2016 referendum, lobby group Manufacturing Northern Ireland estimated that more than 100,000 UK companies had registered in Ireland.