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Bermuda not a threat to London:FSA panel


LONDON—Bermuda does not pose a threat to the London insurance market according to a panel of industry experts speaking at the Financial Services Authority annual insurance sector conference today.

"No firm has vacated London to stop writing business there," said Dan Glaser, managing director AIG Europe (U.K.) Ltd. "Competition is a good thing for different marketplaces and in the long term, London will benefit from Bermuda," he said.

Mr. Glaser also said that Bermuda was a place of specialisation - especially in terms of catastrophe risk. London has the advantages of being better located for access to the global industry and being the home of "a huge pool of talent" across industries, he added.

Stephen Catlin, Chairman of Catlin Group Ltd., agreed saying that Bermuda could not compete with London in terms of talent. He added that London also "owns the business language of the world, has a legal system and a regulator which are both liked and trusted which is a good environment in which to write insurance and reinsurance," he said.

Catlin redomiciled in Bermuda in 1999 "then the regulatory environment [in London] was an issue in a way it is not now," he said. Adding that London would be more attractive to companies, and generate greater sums of revenue, if there was a reduction in the rate of corporation tax.

Clive Maxwell director of HM Treasury said that the government recognized tax as an issue when companies decide where to base themselves and said that the Treasury was looking into the business environment.